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e Hecemd 

zdccessioH No. '/$ 73 (n . Class No. 







Professor of Natural Science, McMaster University; formerly Assistant 
in Mineralogy, Harvard University. 





7$ 73 & 

Entered, according to Act of the Parliament of Canada, in the year one 
thousand eight hundred and ninety-seven, by WILLIAM BRIQGS, at 
the Department of Agriculture. 


FOR several years the author of this book has been giving 
a short course of lectures to his class in geology on the 
economic minerals of Canada. While it is not customary 
to treat this subject so fully in an elementary class, he 
has felt that in a young undeveloped country like our 
own, it was highly desirable that all university students 
should know something of our latent mineral wealth. So, 
at the expense of Palaeontology, much of which is more 
suitable for an advanced course, time was found for 
economic geology in the elementary one. 

To save the labor of dictation, and to make them useful 
to a larger number, these lecture notes are now published. 
They have been somewhat extended, to make the subject 
clearer to the general reader, who has not had any pre- 
liminary training in geology. So far as known, it is the 
only work giving a systematic account of the mineral 
resources of the Dominion. Originality, except in method 
of treatment, is not claimed. The work is a compilation 
founded largely on the excellent reports of the Geological 
Survey of Canada. These bulky volumes and the detailed 
statements in the reports of the Provincial departments 


of mines, while well and favorably known to the specialist, 
are almost unknown to the general reader, and unsuited 
for the elementary student. It is hoped that this book 
will not only prove serviceable itself, but that by its 
numerous references it will stimulate students to seek 
fuller information in the reports mentioned. 

It has not been thought necessary in a book of this 
kind to burden it with references to the author whose 
work has been used. For the most part these works 
have been cited in the literature at the end of each 
chapter, but only those books appear which are likely 
to prove accessible to the student. Special works not 
usually found in small libraries have been omitted. Some 
changes have been made in the spelling of chemical terms, 
as recommended by the Chemical Section of the American 
Association for the Advancement of Science, and as 
adopted by the " Standard " Dictionary. 

The kind assistance of several friends is gratefully ac- 
knowledged. To Dr. Coleman of the School of Practical 
Science, and to Mr. A. Blue, Director of the Bureau of 
Mines, the author is particularly indebted. The latter has 
read the work in proof, and special thanks are due to him 
for many valuable emendations. 

TORONTO, August 10th, 1897. 





Comparison of the mineral resources of Canada with 
those of other countries Description of rock-forming 
minerals Origin of rocks Kinds of rocks Relative 
ages of rocks Chart of geological time General 


ORE DEPOSITS . - . . '21 

Definition of ore Usual combinations of the metals 
Classification of ore deposits Fissure veins The filling 
of veins Surface appearance of ores Distribution 
Erroneous ideas. 



Ores of iron Impurities Canadian localities Pro- 
duction Literature Manganese Chromium. 



NICKEL AND COBALT . . . ... >>" . 50 

Ores Distribution Geological occurrence Uses 
Production Literature. 





Ores of copper Geological occurrence Canadian local- 
ities History of mining operations Production in 
Canada and other countries Occurrence of sulfur 
Uses Localities where mined. 

GOLD AND PLATINUM ... . . . . .66 

Comparison of Canada with other countries Origin 
Geological occurrence Methods of milling Canadian 
mines Production . 



The ores of silver Silver mines of Ontario and British 
Columbia Production Lead ores Canadian mines 
Zinc ores Literature. 


Ores of arsenic Production in Ontario Ores of anti- 
mony Mines of New Brunswick Ores of tin Ores of 
aluminum Occurrence of mercury in Canada. 


SALT, GYPSUM AND BARITE . . . . . . .98 

Occurrence of salt Origin Localities in Canada 
Manufacture Production Localities and production 
of gypsum and barite. 




APATITE AND MICA . . . . . . . .112 

Geological occurrence and production of apatite Use 
Occurrence of mica Use and production. 



Composition of the minerals Occurrence in Quebec 
Method of Mining Uses Production Literature. 


Origin of peat Uses Localities Kinds of coal 
Analyses of a number of Canadian coals Impurities in 
coal Geological relations of coal Origin of coal 
Tables showing gradual passage from wood Descrip- 
tion of the different coal-fields Production Literature 
Description of graphite Occurrence - Use. 



Composition of petroleum Geological occurrence 
Canadian oil-fields Refining and use Production 
Composition of natural gas Occurrence in Canada 
Use and production Asphalt Anthraxolite 


GRANITE AND SANDSTONE . . . . . . .161 

Uses of stone Qualities of building stones Production 
of granite Origin of sandstone Occurrence and use as 
building stone Other uses of sand and sandstone. 





Origin and composition of clay Uses Production 
Origin of slate Occurrence. 

LIMESTONE . . . . . . . . . 179 

Origin and occurrence of limestone Use for building 
material Marble Lithographic stone Mortar and 


Origin of soil Conditions of fertility Ashes of plants 
Analyses of some Canadian soils Geological fertilizers. 


Summary of mineral production, 1894 and 1895 
Tabular comparison of Canada with other countries in 
mineral production. 





IN estimating the natural resources of our Dominion 
one thinks first of the boundless acres of fertile soil. 
These, a perennial source of wealth, which under good 
management can never be exhausted, are certainly 
our principal asset. At the same time it must be 
remembered that the annual production of both our 
forests and our fisheries amounts to many million 
dollars. Until recently the product of our mines was 
the least of these four resources, and this was not 
because we were without mineral resources, but that 
we had barely begun to exploit them. 

Timber, fish, minerals are supplies laid up for us 
by Nature on which we can draw at will. Minerals 
once mined are never replaced. Timber once cut 
might be, but with us, never is, restored. Our fish- 
eries we make some poor attempts to preserve. In 
agriculture alone do we seek to keep our rich inheri- 
tance intact. But though our mineral wealth be a 
fleeting one though it be a resource which cannot 


be cultivated and increased like timber or fish it is 
an asset of such enormous extent that it may be 
drawn on for hundreds of years to an amount far in 
excess of that annually produced by either our forests 
or our fisheries. 

In considering the possibilities of mineral develop- 
ment, attention must first be directed to the extent 
and character of our country. With an area a little 
larger than that of the United States and with the 
same physical features, it would be strange indeed if 
much of the mineral wealth of that country were not 
duplicated north of the boundary. The Rocky Moun- 
tains and parallel ranges extend for some 1,300 miles 
through the States of New Mexico, Colorado, Wyom- 
ing and Montana, and for an equal distance through 
British Columbia and the Yukon District, and it is 
safe to assert that their mineral wealth does not stop 
at the forty-ninth parallel. So also the Sierra Nevada 
of California is represented north of the boundary by 
the Coast Range of British Columbia, and the latter 
may yet prove as rich as the former. 

In the east the Appalachian system is perhaps even 
richer north of the boundary than south of it, though 
it is, of course, of much less extent. In the V-shaped 
territory of Archgean rocks stretching on either side 
of Hudson Bay from the Arctic to the St. Lawrence, 
there is an immense depository for minerals unequalled 
south of the line. True, we miss on the north the 
immense coal deposits of the Mississippi basin, but in 
a measure we have compensation in very fair-sized 
coal beds on both our Atlantic and Pacific coasts. It 


has been customary for Canadians to lament the 
existence of this large area of non-agricultural terri- 
tory. But Nature always makes compensation. If 
by mountain upturning or glacial erosion she has 
rendered parts of our country unsuited for farming, 
she has in most instances at the same time raised and 
uncovered inexhaustible stores of silver and gold, of 
copper and iron. 

Nearly the equal of Europe in size, we surpass any 
one nation of that continent in the variety of our 
mineral deposits, and may yet equal the richest of 
them in the total value of our production. Great 
Britain has had large deposits of coal, and her produc- 
tion is the greatest in the world. Her output must, 
however, shortly begin to lessen, while ours will 
increase. Russia stands second as a petroleum pro- 
ducer, and will no doubt surpass us for years. It is 
possible, however, that fields will be discovered in the 
North- West quite the equal of hers. The copper 
output of Spain at present exceeds ours, but the 
deposits here are quite as extensive as there. Similarly 
with other minerals, different European nations sur- 
pass us in production, but it is probable that our 
deposits are the more extensive, except in the case of 
coal, petroleum and tin. Already in asbestos we have 
surpassed not only Europe but the world. Italy, our 
only competitor, is far behind. With nickel we occupy 
the same proud position. Our gold product, though 
it may never equal that of Australia or the United 
States, may easily exceed that of all Europe combined. 

Our deposits of iron, lead, silver, copper, salt and 


other minerals are enormous. They are, however, 
almost entirely undeveloped. We can only guess at 
their value. So far we have, as a people, merely 
scratched the surface of a few acres of our mineral 
inheritance. Australia, with an area and population 
both slightly less than our own, has an annual mineral 
production nearly three times the value of ours. 
Belgium, a country of only 6,200,000 inhabitants, 
crowded into an area about half the size of Nova 
Scotia, draws twice as large an income from her 
mines as does Canada. And yet it is very probable 
that there is as much mineral wealth in Nova Scotia 
alone as in Belgium. Indeed, Nova Scotia, with coal 
and iron deposits in close proximity to each other 
and to the ocean, should, like Belgium, send her iron 
manufactures to the ends of the world. 

While we have been slow in beginning the develop- 
ment of our mines a fair start has now been made, 
and we may hope for more rapid advancement in the 
near future. The total value of the mineral product 
for 1896 was about twenty-three and a half million 
dollars. Coal is the most important, yielding annu- 
ally about eight million dollars. Gold is second, with 
a product approaching three million in value, which 
gives us tenth place among the nations. Nickel, cop- 
per and petroleum each exceed one million in value, 
and the silver output now amounts to over two million. 
In coal we rank eleventh, in petroleum fourth, and in 
silver tenth. Bricks and building stones are the only 
other products passing the million line in value. In 
ten years the total production has doubled. (See 
Appendix.) Within the last two years the gold and 


silver output of British Columbia has increased enor- 
mously. Estimated at $380,000 in 1893, it grew to 
about $2,200,000 in 1895, and reached $3,900,000 in 

In succeeding chapters there will be given a descrip- 
tion of the different economic minerals, the localities 
where they are found, and their uses and value. To 
do so will require the use of some geological terms, 
which we will now consider. 

Rock-forming 1 Minerals. A mineral is an inor- 
ganic, homogeneous substance of definite, chemical 
composition. It may be a chemical element, more 
usually it is a compound resulting from the union of 
two or more elements in a definite proportion. A 
rock on the contrary is composed " of one or more 
simple minerals having usually a variable chemical 
composition, with no necessarily symmetrical, external 
form, and ranging in cohesion from mere loose debris 
up to the most compact stone." For example, granite 
is a rock composed of a variable mixture of the 
minerals, quartz, felspar and mica. Sandstone, 
limestone, sand and gravel are other examples of 
rocks. Gypsum is a mineral of definite composition, 
which in large masses may be considered a rock. 

Minerals which are of economic value will be de- 
scribed later under the substance they yield. A brief 
description of the chief rock-forming minerals will be 
given here. 

Quartz is the most widely disseminated mineral. 
It is readily distinguished by its glassy lustre and 
great hardness. It will easily scratch glass and can- 
not be scratched by a knife. It never breaks in flat 


surfaces but always in curved ones. In color it is 
usually transparent or white, though often stained 
yellow or red by iron oxid. 

Felspar embraces several species which are much 
alike in physical features. All split in two directions 
with flat shining surfaces. In one variety, ortho- 
clase, these cleavages are at right angles. In the 
other varieties, known collectively as plagioclase, they 
are nearly at right angles. The latter are sodium, 
calcium, aluminum silicates ; the former has potassium 
in place of sodium and calcium. The felspars can 
just be scratched with a knife. 

The micas are easily known by their cleavage into 
thin elastic leaves. Some are clear and transparent, 
others black and opaque. 

Pyroxene and hornblende are almost alike in com- 
position but differ in their angles of cleavage. This 
is a distinction not evident in hand specimens of 
rocks. Both, as found in rocks, are dark green or 
black minerals with a hardness a little less than fel- 
spar. With a blowpipe they are much more easily 

Calcite is easily recognized when crystallized by 
the rhombohedrons or twisted cubes into which it 
readily breaks. All varieties are easily cut with a 
knife, and effervesce readily when touched with a 
drop of acid. In color calcite is usually white or 
grey. Dolomite differs from calcite in having mag- 
nesium carbonate mixed with the calcium carbonate of 
the latter. It effervesces with acids only when heated. 

Chlorite occurs in thin leaves like the micas, but 
unlike them is not elastic. It varies in color from light 


to dark green. It is comparatively soft, and frequently 
has a pearly lustre. 

Serpentine is usually a massive mineral with an 
oily green color and greasy feel. It is easily scratched 
with a knife. The fibrous variety is the asbestos of 

Origin of Rocks. The minerals described above 
with the occasional addition of a few others in sub- 
ordinate amounts compose the bulk of our rocks. 
These constituent minerals are sometimes found with 
a more or less perfect crystal form, at other times with 
the edges rounded and worn. The particles vary in 
both cases from grains of microscopic size to masses 
of considerable dimensions. The rounded grains are 
evidently the result of moving water grinding down 
previously existing rocks. Rocks with this class of 
material are found to be arranged in layers as though 
due to beds of sediment deposited one on the other. 
These constitute the first great division of rocks 
known as the Sedimentary, Stratified or Fragrnental 
Rocks. The second division embraces the Massive, 
Igneous or Eruptive Rocks, which have evidently 
solidified from a fluid condition either within the 
crust of the earth or after eruption from a volcano. 
The sharp angles of the crystals are preserved, and 
one mineral interlocks with another. These rocks 
present no appearance of bedding. The third and 
last division is known as the Schistose Rocks. They 
present characters intermediate to the other two. 
They are distinctly bedded, but do not show fragmen- 
tal grains. The crystalline character of the constit- 
uents points to solidification from a fluid. In some 


cases they are doubtless sediments which have been 
subjected to sufficient heat to permit of the recrystal- 
lization of the minerals without destroying the strati- 
fication. For this reason they are often called the 
Metamorphic Rocks. In other cases they are Igneous 
Rocks, in which the divisional planes have been pro- 
duced after the first consolidation. 

Description of Rocks. A few of the more 
important representatives of the above divisions will 
be described here. 

Sand is an unconsolidated mass of fine worn grains 
of the harder minerals. Quartz is much the largest 
constituent since it resists decay, whilst the other 
minerals of the rocks, which are being worn down, 
are slowly carried off. Magnetite, an oxid of iron, is 
frequently abundant and gives a black color to the 
sand. Gravel is coarse sand. 

Sandstone is simply consolidated sand, in some cases 
produced by pressure alone, in others due to a cement- 
ing material. The cement may be clay, iron oxid, 
silica, or calcite. The first gives rise to a clayey or 
argillaceous sandstone, which may graduate into a 
sandy or arenaceous shale. The red and yellow sand- 
stones are due to oxids of iron. 

A Conglomerate is formed of rounded pebbles up 
to a foot or more in diameter consolidated in any way. 
It bears the same relation to gravel and shingle that 
sandstone does to sand. 

Clay results from the decay of felspars and similar 
silicates of the crystalline rocks. Deposited in water 
in beds it becomes more or less consolidated, and is 
then known as shale. 


Limestones consist mainly of calcifce or of calcite 
and dolomite. They also contain greater or less 
quantities of impurities iron, giving them a red 
color ; carbonaceous matter making them dark ; clay, 
and silica or sand. They are usually grey or drab in 
color, of compact structure, and frequently contain 
organic remains. Some of them found associated with 
crystalline rocks have been metamorphosed by the 
action of heat and pressure, and are of a crystalline, 
granular texture. Fine-grained ones, susceptible of 
polish, are used as marble. 

Granite is the most important of the massive or 
igneous rocks. It consists of an intimate mixture of 
quartz, felspar and mica. The crystals of these 
minerals may be barely visible or of considerable 
dimensions. The felspar may be red or white in 
color, and the granite is always of a corresponding 
hue. Granite occurs in masses of large extent and 
also in dikes in other rocks. Mica may be replaced 
by hornblende, the rock then being called a horn- 
blende granite. 

Felsite is an intimate mixture of exceedingly fine- 
grained felspar and quartz. It varies in color 
through grey, red and brown shades, is slightly trans- 
lucent and can be fused with a blowpipe, while quartz, 
which it resembles, cannot. 

Quartz- Porphyry. Large distinct crystals of quartz 
or felspar are often found in felsite or in a fine- 
grained, microgranitic ground-mass. Such a rock is 
known as a porphyry. 

Syenite is a granular crystalline mixture of ortho- 
clase felspar and hornblende, usually red or grey 


in color. It differs from granite in the absence of 

Diorite is a granular crystalline mixture of plagio- 
clase felspar and hornblende. It is dark green to 
black in color, usually fine grained and often contains 
magnetite. Diabase, dolerite and basalt are closely 
related to diorite, and as all four weather to a green 
color they are often called greenstones. 

Gneiss. Among the schistose rocks gneiss is the 
most important. It resembles granite in being a 
crystalline mixture of quartz, felspar and mica. It 
has, however, a banded structure which seems in 
some cases to be the result of an earlier stratification. 
This laminated appearance is not always very distinct, 
and gneiss merges gradually into granite. 

Mica Schist is a schistose aggregate of quartz and 
mica, each arranged in lenticular wavy laminae. The 
mica may be the light or dark colored variety. Seri- 
cite mica may replace the ordinary micas, when a 
sericite schist results. Chlorite and talc with quartz 
and other minerals make respectively chlorite schist 
and talc schist. The last three are grey or green in 
color, with a pearly lustre and greasy feel. Slate 
results from the metamorphism and recrystallization 
in layers of ordinary clay and shale. 

Relative Age of Rocks. On examining any ex- 
posed section of the sedimentary rocks, it becomes at 
once evident that the older rocks are lowest in the 
series and the newer ones on top. In the same way 
it has been determined in many parts of the world 
that the sedimentary rocks .rest on a fundamental 
complex of igneous rocks. In certain of the sedimeu- 


tary strata coal seams are found in many parts of the 
world, and it at once becomes a matter of great 
interest to us as Canadians to know whether rocks of 
the same age occur here. Other strata are character- 
ized by iron ores, or lead ores, and so on. Geologists 
have thus found it advantageous, from an economical 
as well as from a scientific standpoint, to correlate in 
age the various rocks of the world as far as possible. 
Three guiding principles are used: 1. That of super- 
position, that the newer rocks are above the older. 
In mountainous regions rocks have frequently been 
crumpled and overturned, and this principle cannot 
then be applied. Moreover, it does not help to corre- 
late the ages of rocks not lying together. 2. The 
principle that rocks which are alike were formed at 
the same time. This is only true for limited areas, 
for, to take one example, sandstones formed ages 
apart are alike in composition and structure. 3. The 
principle that animal life was the same the world 
over at corresponding periods in the growth of each 
section of the sedimentary deposits. On studying the 
fossil remains entombed in the stratified rocks, it was 
found that certain formations contained trilobites in 
abundance, others graptolites, others fish, and so on. 
These characteristic animals were not confined to one 
horizon but were found in several. Beginning in 
one period they increased enormously in a second, and 
died out in a third. Other animal life, of course, 
existed along with them. The life of a period as pre- 
sented to us in the rocks formed at the time, is thus 
quite sufficient to identify a rock formed at the same 
time in a remote part of the world. 


In the study of English history it is customary to 
divide the subject into epochs. There is the Saxon 
epoch, the Norman epoch, the Plantagenet epoch, and 
so on. These are the great divisions, and under them 
are grouped the events which happened during the 
reigns of the successive sovereigns. Of course, the 
gradual development of the English nation went on 
irrespective of slight changes in rulers. But the 
reign of the sovereign, as the representative English- 
man, makes a natural division of time. So in 
geological history, the development of animal types 
went steadily on, but the ascendancy of some par- 
ticular group marks a division of time as does a 
dynasty in history. As to the relative lengths of the 
different geological time divisions little can be said. 
The main fact is the order of succession. 

The oldest rocks are without fossil remains, and 
are called the Azoic or Archaean series of rocks, and 
are said to have been formed in Archaean time. 
Above these rocks are found the Palaeozoic series ; on 
these the Mesozoic series ; on these again the Cenozoic 
series, which includes rocks now forming. These large 
divisions of time are subdivided as shown in the 
following chart, the oldest rocks being at the bottom 
of the page. The terms "time," "era," "period," 
"epoch," are divisions of time; the corresponding 
terms " series," " system," " group," " formation," refer 
to the rocks made during the interval of time. The 
first two divisions are of world -wide application ; the 
latter are only of local use. The capital letters are 
those used on the Geological Survey maps for the 
respective formations against which they are placed. 







Quaternary or 
Post-Tertiary, M. 

Recent or Fost- 
Glacial, M3. 
Glacial or Pleistocene, 

Tertiary, L. 

Pliocene, L3. 
Miocene, L2. 
Oligocene, 1 T , 
Eocene, f Li ' 


Cretaceous, K. 

Cretaceous, K. 

Jurassic, J. 

Jurassic, J. 

Triassic, H. 

Triassic, H. 


Carbonic, G. 

Permian, G4. 
Subcarboniferous, Gl. 

f Coal Measures, 
\ Millstone Grit, 


Devonian, F. 

Upper Devonian, F3. 
Middle Devonian, F2. 
Lower Devonian, Fl. 

\ Portage. 
\ Oriskany. 

Silurian, E. 

Lower Helderberg, E6. 
Onondaga, E5. 


{Guelph, E4. 
Niagara, E3. 
Clinton, E2. 
Medina, El. 


Canadian or Quebec. 

(Hudson, D4. 
J Utica, D3. 
( Trenton, D2. 

Cambrian, C. 

Upper Cambrian ^or 
Middle Cambrian or 
Lower Cambrian or 

Azoic or 

Huroiiian, B. 

Upper Huronian. 
Lower ' ' 

Laurentian, A. 

Upper Laurentian. 
Lower " 


LITERATURE. Much excellent information on the economic 
minerals of the Dominion is to be found in the annual reports 
of the Geological Survey of Canada. Part " S " of the reports 
is issued separately, and deals entirely with the mineral produc- 
tion of the year. Geological maps of many areas are issued by 
the Geological Survey, and may be had for a few cents. A 
catalogue of the publications of the Survey will be sent on 
application to the Librarian of the Geological Survey, Ottawa. 
The reports issued yearly by the departments of mines of the 
provinces of Nova Scotia, Ontario and British Columbia are of 
great value. The Canadian Mining Review and the Canadian 
Mining Manual contain valuable summaries of particular 
industries, as well as many details of operations. The transac- 
tions of several of the Mining Engineers' Societies contain 
papers on Canadian mines. 

For the characteristics of minerals and rocks the student 
will do well to consult Dana's "Manual of Mineralogy and 
Petrography." On the geological divisions of time see any 
good text-book, as Dana's "Manual of Geology," or Geikie's 
"Text-book of Geology " ; also "Report of Geological Survey, 
Canada," 1882-84, p. 47. 




VERY few of our useful metals occur in nature as 
we employ them ; nearly all are found combined with 
various elements to form chemical compounds. Sulfur, 
oxygen and carbonic acid are the chief mineralizers. 
Silica, arsenic, antimony and chlorin are also found 
united with the metals. These definite chemical com- 
pounds are called minerals. A mineral occurring in 
sufficient amount to be an economical source of a 
metal is called an ore. Associated with the metal- 
liferous mineral there are usually others which con- 
stitute the gangue or vein-stone. This mixture of 
minerals makes the ore deposit. 

Gold and platinum are nearly always found free and 
uncombined. Sometimes they are mixed with other 
elements to form alloys, gold frequently containing a 
percentage of silver, and platinum of iridium. Cop- 
per, silver and mercury are also found native at times, 
though more usually combined. Most of the metals 
form compounds with sulfur. Iron unites with it 
in two different proportions, but though widely 
spread neither pyrite nor pyrrhotite can be considered 


an ore of iron. Silver sulfid, or argentite, is an im- 
portant ore of silver. So also are severarl sulfids of 
silver and antimony, and silver and arsenic. Cinna- 
bar, the sulfid of mercury, galena, the sulfid of lead, 
stibnite, the sulfid of antimony, are the main sources 
of these metals. Zinc sulfid or blende, and chalco- 
pyrite, bornite and chalcocite, three copper sulfids, 
are important ores of these two metals. 

The oxids of iron, manganese and tin constitute 
the most important ores of these metals. Oxids of 
copper, and of zinc, are also extensively mined. 
Among important carbonates are those of iron, copper, 
zinc and lead. Silicates are not often a source of 
metals, but calamine, chrysocolla and garnierite are 
mined respectively for zinc, copper and nickel. Cer- 
argyrite, or silver chlorid, is the only chlorid of eco- 
nomic importance. Arsenopyrite, a compound of 
arsenic, iron and sulfur, frequently carries gold. 
Arsenic also unites with nickel, and with cobalt, to 
form ores of these metals. 

Several of these minerals are often closely associ- 
ated. Silver and lead sulfids are so frequently mixed 
that it hardly pays to mine lead ore unless it contains 
some silver. Silver and zinc sulfids are also frequently 
associated. Iron and copper pyrites are often inter- 
mingled ; so also, iron and manganese oxids. Gold is 
commonly associated with iron or copper pyrites, 
though these may have been oxidized on the surface 
of the deposit. 

Other minerals of no economic value are usually 
associated with those mentioned above. The most 


common of these gangues are quartz, calcite, barite 
and fluorite. Sometimes, as in the iron deposits, the 
gangue is relatively small; inmost cases it constitutes 
the great bulk of the deposit. If one-twentieth of 
one per cent, of a gold deposit were gold, i.e., about a 
pound in a ton, the ore would yield $300 to the ton, 
while $20 would in most cases be very profitable. 
Evidently in deposits of the precious metals the ore is 
a minor accessory. In all cases the deposit must be 
concentrated the vein-stone must be separated. This 
is usually accomplished by currents of water which 
carry off the light gangue and leave the heavy mineral. 
Ore deposits are the result of the concentration of 
mineral particles once widely disseminated through 
the surface rocks or too deeply seated to be of use to 
man. They may consequently be classified accord- 
ing to the manner in which they were formed. 
Unfortunately our knowledge of their origin is far 
from perfect, and most authors adopt an empirical 
classification based on the form of the deposit. This 
has its advantages, since it appeals to the practical 
man who is more concerned about the form and 
permanence of his deposit than about the origin. 
Many schemes have been proposed. That of Louis 
("A Treatise on Ore Deposits." Phillips and Louis, 
1896) is among the best, and will be followed here: 

CLASS I. Symphytic Deposits, or those formed at the 
same time as the enclosing rocks. 

(a) Clastic deposits. 

(b) Precipitates from aqueous solution. 


(c) Deposits from solution subsequently metamor- 

(d) Disseminations through sedimentary beds. 

CLASS II. Epactic Deposits, or those formed 

quently to the enclosing rocks. 
Sub-class 1. Veins: 

(e) Fissure veins. 

(/) Bedded veins. 

(g) Contact veins. 

(h) Gash veins. 
Sub-class 2. Masses : 

(i) Stockworks. 

(j) Massive deposits in limestone. 

(k) Massive deposits connected with igneous rocks. 

(I) Disseminations in igneous rocks. 

Symphytic Deposits. These have been laid down 
as beds in sedimentary rocks and have subsequently 
been subject to the same folding as the enclosing 
sediments. They may now be found in synclinals 
or basins, or in anticlinals or saddles. These ore 
deposits, like all other sediments, may be affected by 
fissures and faults. Portions of a bed originally con- 
tinuous may thus be found at very different levels 
on opposite sides of a fissure. The fault may also 
cause a horizontal separation of hundreds of feet. 
When the fault is vertical no horizontal displacement 
occurs. More frequently the fault is inclined, and 
dislocation results according to the following law : The 
portion of the bed that lies on the inclined plane slips 


down relatively to the other part. Or, as it is stated 
for the miner, " if in driving on a bed a fault is met 
with in the roof, go down; if first in the floor, go up, 
to find the faulted portion." 

(a) The clastic deposits have been produced by the 
disintegration of more ancient metalliferous deposits. 
This may have occurred at the present position of the 
ore, but usually water has transported and assorted 
the products of decay. The black iron sands, mag- 
netite and ilmenite, are the most wide-spread repre- 
sentatives of this class in Canada. Along the Great 
Lakes and especially along the Lower St. Lawrence, 
immense bodies of these sands are met. They are 
due to the decomposition of the basic rocks of the 
Laurentian. Owing to their high percentage of 
titanium they are of little value as a source of iron. 
More important from the economical standpoint are 
the auriferous gravels of British Columbia and the 
sands of the Chaudiere, Quebec. The heavy gold 
brought from the mountains by the streams was 
deposited on the current being checked These 
irregular beds are known as placers. The process has 
been going on in all geological periods, and auriferous 
gravels are known which were formed by rivers in 
Cambrian times. Platinum is entirely derived from 
similar placers. Tin, in the form of the oxid, is also 
largely won from river gravels. 

(6) The ores of iron and manganese are practically 
the only ones formed by precipitation from aqueous 
solution. The process has taken place in all ages and 
is still at work. The acids resulting from the decay 


of plant life are good solvents of the oxids of iron so 
widely distributed in the igneous rocks. The car- 
bonate of iron found in some limestones is soluble in 
water impregnated with carbonic acid. Iron pyrite 
oxidizes to ferrous, or ferric sulfate, both soluble salts. 
In these ways great quantities of iron are leached 
from the rocks and carried to ponds, where, exposed 
to the action of the air, carbonic acid is evolved and 
the iron precipitated either as the carbonate or as 
the hydrated oxid. Limonite, or bog iron ore, is 
essentially the hydrated peroxid of iron (Fe 2 3 + 
3 H 2 O), though impurities are often present. There is 
no doubt but that it is formed in the way indicated. 
This ore is found quite extensively near Three Rivers, 
Que. It occurs in swamps one to fifteen feet below the 
surface in patches from three to thirty inches thick, 
and from a few square feet to several acres in extent. 
Similar ore is found in lakes in Quebec and Sweden. 
The deposits are dredged, and it is found that they 
are renewed quite rapidly. In ten to twenty-five 
years economic amounts have been known to form. 
Clay iron-stone, or argillaceous carbonate of iron, is 
found in the Carboniferous rocks of Nova Scotia. It 
has doubtless been formed in the same way as the 
more recent deposits. 

(c) The deposits of tljis group were probably formed 
just as those of the previous one, but were afterwards 
subjected to metamorphism. The oxids of iron, hema- 
tite (Fe 2 O 3 ), and magnetite (Fe 3 4 ), are the great 
representatives of the group. These ores were prob- 
ably deposited as the hydrated oxid in swamps or 


lakes. Subsequently the bog ore was covered by 
sediment, and the whole subjected to heat and pres- 
sure. The water was driven from the ore and the 
materials of the sediment recrystallized. In many 
cases the beds were upturned, and the present ores 
seem at times to be in veins rather than in beds. For 
the most part they occur in rocks of Lauren tian, 
Huronian and Cambrian age. Scores of examples are 
afforded by the Archaean of Canada. 

(d) The ores disseminated through beds form a 
very important group economically. Genetically they 
connect the two great classes of ore deposits. The 
main mass of the rock, the non-metallic portion of the 
deposit, is of sedimentary origin. The metallic por- 
tion was introduced later, probably in solution. Some 
have held that the metallic portion also is of sedi- 
mentary origin. We know, however, of no process 
by which lead sulfid, copper sulfid or gold may be 
precipitated from sea- water. On the contrary, we do 
know that, under certain circumstances, subterranean 
water may carry these materials in solution. Indeed, 
it is in this way that fissures have been filled. Two 
examples of dissemination may be mentioned. In the 
Permian rocks of Mansfeld, Germany, there is a shale 
impregnated with several copper minerals, which has 
been mined for centuries. The bed, which is only a 
foot and a half thick, extends for miles. The rich 
gold deposits of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, are 
of similar origin. Sand and conglomerate beds, quite 
destitute of gold, were here upturned and faulted. 
Concurrently subterranean waters bearing gold in 


solution penetrated the more porous beds. The con- 
glomerates thus contain most of the gold the sand- 
stones but little. 

Epactic Deposits. All the ore deposits of this 
class were formed subsequently to the enclosing rocks, 
consequently fragments of these rocks are often 
found in the ore body. With the exception of iron 
the larger proportion of every metal is derived from 
this class of deposits. Two subdivisions of the class 
are recognized depending on the form of the deposit. 
Under the term vein is included the tabular deposits, 
which have considerable length and depth but small 
breadth. The mass deposits include the remaining 
irregular ones, which have no definite shape and are 
of varying size. 

(e) Fissure veins have originated in dislocations 
of the country rock, caused by movements of the 
earth's crust ; subsequently they have been filled with 
mineral matter. A dike, which bears a superficial re- 
semblance to a fissure vein, differs in that it has been 
formed by an intrusive sheet of igneous rock. Its 
constituents are generally non-metallic. A true fissure 
vein cuts across the planes of bedding of a sediment- 
ary rock. 

The walls of a vein are seldom parallel for any 
distance. This is due to the fact that there has 
usually been a slipping or faulting along the fissure. 
Conceive an irregular crack in the crust, and that one 
side has slipped downwards, and the walls will no 
longer be parallel; on the contrary there will be a 
succession of narrow and wide parts of the vein, if, 


indeed, it does not pinch out entirely at places. Con- 
nected with this movement there will be a grinding 
of the two walls, which often leaves a peculiar smooth 
surface, with parallel scratches called slickensides. A 
fine powder also results. This with water forms a 
seam of clay the selvage of the vein. Most of these 
fissures are vertical or nearly so. The greatest angle 
of inclination which they make with the horizon is 
called their dip. The horizontal direction at right 
angles to this is called the strike. With inclined 


veins the upper wall is known as the hanging wall ; 
the lower as the foot wall. 

In size veins vary greatly. Some have been 
traced for several miles in length ; others have been 
mined to a depth of half a mile. In thickness they 
vary from a minute crack to many yards. From 
their mode of formation they are believed to extend 
indefinitely in depth. Because of their persistency 
and regularity, true fissure veins are looked on with 
most favor by the miner. 

The ultimate cause of the formation of fissures is 
probably to be found in the cooling of the earth's 
interior. As this portion of the globe cools it must 
contract, and this necessitates the folding in of the 
outer crust. This crust must be crumpled and folded 
to permit of its occupying less space, and fissures 
would naturally occur parallel to the axis of folding. 
The settling down of the upper rocks would produce 
forces of compression and torsion, and Daubree has 
shown experimentally that in this way two sets of 
fissures, at right angles to each other, would be pro- 


duced. This is in accordance with the facts noticed 
in many mining regions. Some fractures may be due 
to the contraction of a cooling mass of igneous rock ; 
others are, perhaps, caused by the drying of a 
sedimentary rock, and consequent contraction and 
fissuring. Most fissures are, however, the result of 
dynamic causes, not of contraction. 

The fissure being formed, it is next in order to 
inquire how it was filled. Before discussing this 
point certain characteristics -of veins should be noted. 
As a usual thing the larger part of every vein is 
occupied by the non-metalliferous gangue. Quartz, 
calcite and fluorite are common vein-stones. They 
are crystalline in structure, and are often arranged in 
layers on the walls. The metallic portion of the vein 
is very irregularly distributed. In few cases does it 
pay to remove the whole of the vein-stone, and only 
the richer parts are hoisted to the surface. Some- 
times the metallic portion is concentrated in a 
horizontal band in the vein. This is known as a 
course of ore. At other times the metal-bearing 
minerals are concentrated in somewhat vertical bands 
in the plane of the vein. These are known as shoots 
(also written chutes} of ore, or chimneys. The shoots 
of a vein are usually parallel to one another, and the 
angle of inclination is most commonly that of the 
bedding or cleavage of the rocks in which the vein 
occurs. When the ore occurs in detached patches it 
is said to be bunchy. 

The nature of the country rock seems to often 
exert great influence on the ore body. In Cumber- 


land, England, it has been noticed that the veins 
enclosed in limestone, sandstone or schist are more 
productive than those between walls of slate. In 
Derbyshire the veins traverse igneous rocks and also 
shales and sandstones. In the latter the veins are 
productive; in the former the lead ore is usually 
absent. At the famous Silver Islet mine, Lake 
Superior, the ore was found in a vein intersecting a 
diabase dike in argillite. The vein was exceptionally 
rich in the diabase, but barren in the argillite. Depth 
has no known influence on the character of a vein. 

The Filling of Veins. After the formation of the 
fissure it was filled with gangue and ore. Where 
were the materials found, and how were they trans- 
ported to the vein ? Seven distinct theories are 
tabulated by Louis, some of which have only an 
historical value : 

1. Theory of Contemporaneous Formation. 

2. Theory of Electric Currents. 

3. Theory of Aqueous Deposition from above. 

4. Theory of Igneous Injection. 

5. Theory of Sublimation. 

6. Theory of Lateral Secretion. 

7. Theory of Ascension. 

The first three may be dismissed as incorrect. The 
fourth, while the acknowledged mode of formation of 
dikes of igneous rocks, does not account for many 
characteristics of veins. Sublimation probably ac- 
counts satisfactorily for the presence of mercury and 
cinnabar throughout a rock. The theory supposes the 
metal to be volatilized in the hot interior of the earth 


and deposited in the cool part of the vein above. It 
fails to account for the vein-stones, and so cannot be 
accepted for many deposits. 

The theory of lateral secretion was put on a firm 
basis by the labors of Sandberger. He taught that 
water percolating through the country rock had, by 
means of natural solvents, such as carbonic acid, 
leached from it the materials which were afterwards 
deposited in the vein as the water evaporated. By 
careful chemical examinations he showed that all the 
common metals were to be found in the silicates of 
the crystalline rocks. Pyroxene, hornblende, the 
micas and the felspars were the depositories whence 
not only copper, lead, zinc, etc., were derived, but also 
the gangue materials, silica, fluorin, etc. 

Sedimentary rocks, apart from the limestones, con- 
sist of the debris of the older crystalline rocks. Con- 
sequently the metal-bearing silicates, finely comminu- 
ted it may be, should also be present in stratified 
rocks like shale and slate. Lead, copper, zinc, arsenic 
and others were actually found in clay slates. Thus 
he proved that the metals occurred in rocks of every 
geological age. 

This theory explains fairly well the origin of the 
metals and gangue, accounts for the frequent banded 
structure of a vein, explains the fact that shoots 
usually follow the dip of the enclosing rocks, and 
gives a good reason for the changes which take place 
when a vein passes from one formation to another. 
Against it may be urged that different sets of fissures 
traversing the same formation often contain very 


different ores. It is also to be noted that a vein tra- 
versing several formations often contains the same 

The theory of ascension had as its strongest sup- 
porter Posepny, of Germany. He believed that the 
vein material is carried in solution from the hot 
interior of the globe. Opposing the view that the 
metals are derived from the crystalline rocks, he sup- 
posed a heavy metalliferous layer at a considerable 
distance below the surface. Water slowly forcing its 
way down becomes superheated, and under the great 
pressure is an active solvent. In this way the metals 
and vein-stone are leached from the rock, carried into 
the vein and deposited above. Veins are actually 
being formed to-day in this way in Nevada and Cali- 
fornia. The theory avoids some of the difficulties of 
the previous one, but creates others. 

American geologists are inclined to accept a theory 
combining the best points of the last two. Le Conte 
asserts that the source of the metals is a leaching of 
all the wall rocks, but mainly the lowest portions. 
Metals have been brought up by ascending currents, 
and smaller contributions have come from the upper 
rocks. Highly alkaline water was the main solvent. 
The sulfids were the chief minerals dissolved, and 
deposition took place in all kinds of fissures. The 
deposits are found mainly in mountainous regions and 
in metamorphic and igneous rocks, because there the 
fissures were made and the heated layer occurs nearest 
the surface. 

A fissure vein has not always two well-marked walls. 


Frequently one or both are wanting. The alkaline 
silicate in its upward passage in the fissure often 
attacked the wall rock, and exchange of molecules 
occurred. Parts of the rock were dissolved and car- 
ried off some of the ore was deposited in its place. 
In this way the wall disappeared, and the vein was 
widened in an irregular manner. 

(/) Bedded veins are parallel with the bedding or 
foliation of the country rock, while the previous class 
cut it in all directions. This class of fissures is due to 
a plane of weakness in the bedding, or to a folding 
of the beds which has left a cavity. They are not so 
continuous as true fissures, but one vein usually suc- 
ceeds another. They vary considerably in thickness, 
and are often lenticular ; many of them do not appear 
at the surface. They may be faulted like an ordinary 
fissure vein ; the gangue and ore are alike in both 
classes. Gold particularly is found in bedded veins, 
those of Nova Scotia being good examples. 

(g) Contact veins are cavities between dissimilar 
rocks which have been filled with ores through the 
influence of one of the rocks. Obviously they re- 
semble bedded veins in appearance, except where one 
rock is eruptive. An excellent example is afforded 
by the deposits of Leadville, Col. Igneous dikes 
have here crossed beds of limestone. Mineral-bearing 
solutions passing up the line of weakness between the 
two rocks have dissolved the limestone and replaced 
it with silver-lead ores. 

(h) Gash veins are properly irregular deposits 
made in the joints, and between the beds, of limestone. 


They are of small extent, and do not pass vertically 
to any distance. Water, charged with carbonic acid, 
has probably dissolved the rock along the joint-plane, 
and subsequently mineral matter has been deposited 
from solution. The lead and zinc ores occurring in 
the Trenton limestone of Iowa and Missouri are the 
best examples. 

(i) A stockwork consists of a mass of igneous, 
metamorphic or stratified rock, " impregnated with 
metalliferous mineral, either in the form of small 
reticulated veinlets, or more or less uniformly dis- 
seminated through the rock in connection with the 
veins." The mass nas no definite limits, and merges 
gradually into the surrounding rock. Typical ex- 
amples are the tin deposits of Saxony and of Corn- 
wall. Apparently the rocks containing the tin ore 
have been shattered, and mineral-bearing solutions 
rising in the fissures have deposited their burden there 
or exchanged part of it for a portion of the wall rock. 
This group of deposits is accordingly related to the 
true fissure veins. 

( j) Massive deposits in calcareous rocks seem to be 
due to the slow replacement of the soluble limestone 
by the ore of a mineral-bearing solution. Apart from 
their irregular form they closely resemble gash veins, 
and should perhaps include them. The deposits are 
very irregular in size and shape. Many of the silver 
deposits of Nevada afford good examples of this class. 

(k) Masses in igneous rocks are either irregular or 
lenticular in shape, and are found either in the rocks 
or at the plane of contact between them and an older 


rock. They resemble somewhat contact veins, but 
are not tabular like them. Oxids of iron and sulfids 
of iron, of copper and of nickel are the chief minerals 
of this class of deposits. The sulfids have probably 
been introduced in solution in cavities which were 
subsequently enlarged by the exchange of the mineral 
for the rock. A typical example is afforded by the 
copper and nickel deposits of Sudbury, Ontario. 
Here the ore is found in lenticular masses, either in 
diorite or at the contact of the diorite and the Hur- 
onian schists which it pierces. 

Immense deposits of magnetite and hematite are 
found in the Archaean rocks of Ontario and Quebec. 
They are irregular in shape, and occur in igneous 
rocks or crystalline limestone. By some authors they 
are classed here, though others assert that they are 
metamorphosed sediments and belong to group c. 

(1) Disseminations in igneous rocks include (!) de- 
posits resembling the last, but where the metallifer- 
ous part is so scattered that the whole rock must be 
removed ; (2) deposits where an igneous rock has 
been impregnated rather than a stratified one, as in d. 
A typical example is afforded by the native copper 
deposits of the basin of Lake Superior. 

Surface Appearance of Ore Deposits. In most 
cases ore deposits are very different on the surface to 
what they are when opened. At a few feet below the 
surface, the distance varying with the locality, a zone 
of water, known as the water-line, is met. Above this, 
air, water and chemical agents may react on the ore, 
and the usual result is oxidation. Hydrates, carbon- 


ates, sulfates and chlorids may also be formed. Many 
of these are soluble and are carried off by water. These 
surface accumulations are called gossan. The French 
name, chapeau de fer, and the German, eisen hut, both 
meaning " iron hat," are very expressive. Iron pyrites 
is a very widely disseminated mineral, and on oxi- 
dation it yields the hydrated oxid, limonite, reddish to 
brown in color. In and beneath this layer there is 
often found a rich deposit of gold, silver or copper, as 
the case may be. The weathering of the vein has 
permitted the removal of the gangue and the concen- 
tration of the heavier metals. From this fact arises 
the German proverb : 

" A mine is ne'er so good as that 
Which goes beneath an iron hat." 

Below this again the water-line is reached, and the 
character of the ore may change entirely. For 
instance, a gold ore may be free-milling on the surface, 
and below become most refractory. A case in point 
is afforded by the gold ores of Hastings, Ontario. 
Rich and free-milling on the surface, they rapidly 
became arsenical and rebellious. Lead and zinc may 
exist as the carbonates on the surface, and pass at the 
depth of a few feet into the sulfids, galena and blende. 
Distribution of Ore Deposits. A consideration 
of the methods of formation of ore deposits would 
lead us to expect them where one or more of the fol- 
lowing conditions are presented : 1. A region of dis- 
turbance, where fissures may have been made and 
circulation promoted. 2. A region where heat has 


been at work. This may have been due to volcanic 
action or produced by metamorphism. 3. Where 
the solvent action of water has been enormously 
increased by the pressure of overlying rocks and by 
the greater heat. 4. Where action has been long 
continued, and feeble agencies may thus have been 
able to effect considerable change. In accordance 
with these conditions we find the great majority of 
ore deposits (1) near eruptive rocks, especially the 
earlier ones ; (2) in mountainous regions, particularly 
those which have been well denuded, as shown by their 
low rounded forms ; (3) in regions of ancient rocks. 

Erroneous Ideas Regarding Ore Deposits. 1. It 
is often asserted that true fissure veins are likely to 
increase in width as the shaft is sunk. The truth is 
that they will widen and narrow alternately, some- 
times pinching out entirely. If at the present 
surface a vein is narrow it may widen for a time ; if, 
on the contrary, it is struck at a wide part it may 
narrow for a time. A good illustration of this, both 
as regards changes in the depth and the length of a 
vein, is a torn paper, with the parts slightly shifted 
to show the faulting. 

2. Fissure veins are said to grow richer as depth 
increases. Apart from the enriching at the surface 
due to the decay and removal of the vein matter, this 
is hardly true. The ore in a vein is always irregularly 
distributed. In sinking the miner will, of course, pass 
from poor portions to richer ones and then on to lean 
ones again. 

3. It is often held th it certain directions of strike 


in veins indicate rich or poor deposits. This can only 
be true of limited regions where the parallel fissures 
may be supposed to be due to the same cause. Those 
formed at the one time are likely to have been filled 
with the same solution. An earlier or later set of fis- 
sures might have been filled with a different solution 
containing no metallic ore, or a different one. The 
strike of veins containing the same ores may be 
widely different in different localities. 

4. The country rock certainly exerts an influence 
on the vein material, and preference for a particular 
kind on the part of the miner is justifiable within 
limited regions. Nevertheless, a wall rock which is 
barren in one district may prove to be rich in another. 

LITERATURE. "A Treatise on Ore Deposits," Phillips and 
Louis, 1896. "The Genesis of Ore Deposits," Posepny, Trans. 
Am. Inst. Min. Eng. XXIII., 197-369. Newberry, "School of 
Mines Quart.," 1880, V. 337. 



Ores of Iron. Among the metals iron is easily of 
first importance, because so indispensable to all our 
industrial undertakings. It is widely distributed in 
nature, occurring as an oxid and as a carbonate. 
Magnetite (Fe 3 O 4 ) is richest in metallic iron, containing 
72 per cent, when pure. It can always be attracted 
by a magnet, and often is itself able to attract soft 
iron. It is with difficulty scratched by a knife, and 
yields a black powder. Some varieties contain man- 
ganese, others titanium. Hematite (Fe 2 O 3 ) contains, 
when pure, 70 per cent, of iron. Several varieties are 
distinguished, all of which yield a dark reddish 
powder. The hard crystalline kind, with a steely 
lustre, is called specular ore ; a black, shining, scaly 
ore is known as micaceous hematite. Mixed with 
clay it yields a brown-black to reddish colored ore of 
dull lustre. The harder mixtures are clay iron-stones ; 
the softer are red ochres. Fossil ore consists of red 
oolitic grains. Part of the iron of hematite is often re- 
placed by titanium. Brown hematite ore includes a 
number of minerals, all of which are hydrated oxids 
such as limonite (2Fe 2 O 3 + 3H 2 0), gothite, etc. These 
minerals yield water when heated, give a brown 


powder and streak, and contain 60 per cent, or less of 
iron. Iron carbonate, called siderite or spathic iron 
ore, contains about 48 per cent, of iron. It is brown 
in color, cleaves readily into rhombohedrons, and 
effervesces when heated with acids. In coal regions 
it is frequently found mixed with earthy matter, and 
is then known as clay iron-stone. Mixed with bitu- 
minous matter, it forms black band. 

Clay iron-stone, though containing a smaller 
amount of iron, is often more valuable than richer 
ores because of its proximity to coal and fluxes. 
Ores of iron are so widely distributed and in such 
large amounts that only those deposits which are 
favorably located can be utilized. The value of an 
iron deposit depends on (1) its proximity to fuels and 
fluxes needed for its reduction ; (2) its freedom from 
injurious materials not readily removed in smelting ; 
(3) the percentage of iron which the ore will yield. 

Anthracite, coke and charcoal are the usual fuels. 
Limestone is the flux employed to remove the common 
impurities of clay and quartz. The proximity of 
these materials in Nova Scotia has caused a develop- 
ment of the iron industry there, while the rich ores of 
Ontario are neglected. Other impurities are phos- 
phorus, sulfur and titanium. A small amount of 
sulfur causes an iron to be "red-short," that is, brittle 
and difficult to work at a red heat. One-tenth of one 
per cent, of phosphorus causes the metal to be "cold- 
short " or brittle when cold. Ores containing these 
elements are unsuited for the manufacture of steel. 
By lining the converter with a magnesium or calcium 


mineral it has been found to be possible to use many 
ores formerly rejected because of their phosphorus. 
Titanium does not injure the iron, but the presence of 
any amount in the ore increases the expense of 
reducing it. 

Geological Occurrence. The ores of iron are 
found particularly in the oldest formations. The 
Laurentian, Huronian and Cambrian are the great 
iron ages. The ores in rocks of these periods are 
hematites and magnetites, especially the latter. 
Hematites are found in Silurian and Devonian strata 
in Nova Scotia. Siderite is found in the Palaeozoic of 
Nova Scotia, and in the form of clay iron-stone 
throughout the Cretaceous and early Tertiary of the 
North- West. Limonite is abundant in the Silurian 
and Devonian of Nova Scotia, and its modern repre- 
sentative, bog iron'ore, is found in the Post-Tertiary 
of Quebec and Ontario. This last has been dissolved 
by organic acids from the crystalline rocks, and 
deposited in swamps after oxidation. The beds in 
the Archaean are doubtless metamorphosed bog ores, 
though in some cases they may be of an eruptive 

Canadian Localities. Maritime Provinces. Iron 
ores occur in large amounts in Nova Scotia. All 
varieties are represented, and are found in nearly 
every geological age. Active operations are confined 
to the counties of Pictou, Annapolis and Colchester. 
These counties respectively produced 31,000, 30,000 
and 18,000 tons of ore in 1895. In Pictou the ores 
are found along the East River close to the coal field. 


In Devonian strata beds of brown hematite with 
specular ore and siderite are found. An oolitic 
hematite resembling the Clinton ore of the United 
States occurs in Silurian beds. The largest deposits, 
and the only ones yet worked, are found at the con- 
tact of the Carboniferous rocks with earlier forma- 
tions. The ore is mostly brown hematite. Two 
companies are mining and smelting these ores. A char- 
coal furnace is used at Bridgeville, and Bessemer pig 
is made with coke at Ferrona. At Torbrook, Annap- 
olis county, there is a considerable area of hematite 
ores. The beds are three to twelve feet thick, and 
the ore is of good quality. It is shipped to London- 
derry and Ferrona. At the Acadia Mines, Colchester 
county, there is " an extensive development of brown 
hematite in a vein in Devonian strata associated with 
specular ore, ochre, ankerite and other carbonates of 
lime, iron and magnesia." This ore, mixed with 
hematite from Torbrook, is smelted by the London- 
derry Iron Company. The product is largely sold in 

In Cape Breton there are numerous beds of hema- 
tite and magnetite in Archaean strata. Specular ore 
is found in Guysboro' and hematite in Antigonish. 
Other localities are Pugwash, Grand Lake, Brookfield, 
Goschen, Selma, Clifton, etc. 

In Carleton county, N.B., beds of hematite are 
found in Lower Silurian slates. A charcoal furnace 
was in blast for some time at Woodstock, and several 
thousand tons of iron made. 

Ontario and Quebec. Bog iron ores were first 


discovered in the district of Three Rivers in 1667. The 
first forges were erected in 1733, and iron has been 
smelted in the district almost continuously since 
that date. The Radnor Forges near Three Rivers 
are the present representative of the old industry. 
Bog ore is procured on both sides of the St. Lawrence, 
and charcoal made in the vicinity is used for 
fuel. The product is particularly adapted for car 
wheels. At Drurnmondville, on the St. Francis, are 
two other furnaces also using bog ore and charcoal. 
The ore is mined partly in the vicinity and partly in 
Vaudreuil. Bog ores are quite abundant in the low 
lands flanking the Laurentian hills on the north of 
the St. Lawrence. In the Archaean rocks north of 
the Ottawa and St. Lawrence immense beds of mag- 
netite and hematite are found. Below Quebec these 
often contain considerable titanium, but to the west 
many of them are excellent ores. Beds twenty-five 
feet wide are of common occurrence. For the most 
part they are interstratified with gneiss. In the 
metamorphic rocks of the Eastern Townships other 
important deposits are found. Except for the occa- 
sional export of a few tons these oxids are unused. 

In Ontario similar beds of hematite and magnetite 
are found in Archaean rocks. Large amounts have 
been mined at several localities, but no regular opera- 
tions are going on at present. Most of the ore was 
exported ; some of it was smelted at furnaces now dis- 
mantled. The chief mining locations are along the 
Kingston and Pembroke Railway ; in Hastings, Peter- 
boro' and Victoria counties; north of Lake Huron; 


west of Lake Superior. In the last district, on the 
Mattawin and Atikokan rivers, bodies of ore are found 
which resemble in appearance and mode of occurrence 
the famous deposits of Minnesota. The ores of Gun- 
flint Lake are a continuation northwards of the Mesabi 
range of Minnesota. 

Bog ores are found at a number of places in south- 
western Ontario. They were smelted early in the 
century, and are again being mined for a new furnace 
at Hamilton. This furnace also uses hematite and 
magnetite from other parts of Ontario. Siderite is re- 
ported as occurring in large deposits in the Devonian, 
on Moose River. 

Western Canada. Clay iron-stone occurs at a num- 
ber of places throughout the lignite Tertiary of the 
North- West, but nowhere in economic amounts. It is 
also found in the coal series of British Columbia. 
Magnetite is, however, the chief ore of this province. 
It has been mined at Kamloops Lake, Redonda Island 
and Texada Island for export. It is found in many 
localities and of good quality. The ore bed at Tex- 
ada is twenty to twenty-five feet thick, and extends 
for a mile with a thickness of one to ten feet. 

Production. Canada is particularly backward in 
developing her iron industries. Few countries have 
larger deposits of ore, and much of it is convenient to 
coal and flux. The smallness of the market is the 
great difficulty. Moreover, Nova Scotia, the chief 
producer, is some distance from Ontario, the chief con- 
sumer. The following tables will give an idea of the 
industry : 











Pig iron made tons . . 





Iron ore consumed tons . 
Fuel f Charcoal bush 
con- -{ Coke tons 
sumed. [Coal tons 
Flux consumed tons . . 

By provinces the production of ore in 1895 was: 

Nova Scotia 83,792 tons. 

Quebec 17,783 

British Columbia 1,222 

Total 102,797 M 

In 1895 the exports of iron and steel goods amounted 
to $175,000 and the imports to $8,002,000. There 
was further imported scrap iron, etc., to the value of 
$697,000, and against this an export of ore valued at 

Compared with foreign countries the Canadian pro- 
duction is insignificant. The following table is com- 
piled from Rothwell's " Mineral Industry " : 




United States 



Great Britain 

8,022 000 















of 2204 




| Ibs. 









All others 






Great Britain and Germany are relying more and 
more on imported ores. Spain, which ranks fourth as 
a producer of iron ore, exports considerable to Britain. 
Sweden also ships ore to that country. 

LITERATURE. History of manufacture in Canada, Bartlett, 
Trans. Am. Inst. Mm. Eng. XIV. 508 ; Canadian Mining 
Manual, 1896. Theories of Origin, Phillips and Louis, "Ore 
Deposits " ; Winchell, Bull. 6 Minn. Geol. Sur. Statistics, Rep. 
S Geol. Sur. Can. Localities, Catalogue of the Museum. Nova 
Scotia : Pictou, Geol. Sur. V. 1890, 175 P ; Trans. Am. Inst. 
Min. Eng. XIV. 54; Reports Dep. of Mines; "Acad. Geol." 
New Brunswick: Geol. Sur. 1874. Quebec: Geol. Sur. IV. 
1888 K. Ontario : Geol. Sur. 1873-74 ; Bur. of Mines, 1892. 
British Columbia: Rep. Geol. Sur., III. 1887 R. 


The ores of manganese are almost wholly oxids, or 
hydroxids, though the metal occurs in many other 
forms. It is similar to iron in its chemical affinities and 
geological distribution, so that it often occurs with ores 
of that metal. Pyrolusite (Mn0 2 ), the dioxid of man- 
ganese, is the most important mineral by reason of its 
purity. Wad, or bog ore manganese, is more widely 
distributed, but is often useless through the presence of 
sulfur, phosphorus, etc. Psilomelane, manganite,braun- 
ite and hausmannite are other manganese minerals. 
Some silver and some zinc ores contain a considerable 
amount of manganese, which is saved as a by-product. 

The great use of the metal is in the iron industry. 
Nine- tenths of the product is converted into spiegel- 
eisen and f erro-manganese, two alloys with iron con- 
taining from one to ninety per cent, of manganese. 
These alloys are invaluable in the manufacture of 


steel. Not only does the manganese prevent the 
oxidation of the iron, but a small per cent, increases 
the strength of the steel. Because of the readiness 
with which pyrolusite yields oxygen, it is used in the 
manufacture of chlorin and as a decolorizer of glass. 
Compounds of manganese are also used as coloring 
materials in calico-printing, coloring glass and pottery, 
and in paints. For these chemical processes only the 
purest pyrolusite is available, whilst for spiegel-eisen 
an ore containing iron, water or calcite may be used. 
Pyrolusite, manganite and wad are widely distrib- 
uted through the Lower Carboniferous rocks around 
the Bay of Fundy. The first systematic mining 
operations were begun at Tenny Cape, N.S., in 1862. 
Two years later a mine was opened at Markhamville, 
N.B., which has proved the most productive of the 
district. The ore occurs as lenticular layers inter- 
bedded in limestone, or in pockets bearing from a few 
pounds to four thousand tons. Other localities are, 
Quaco Head, Jordan Mountain, Glebe and Shepody 
Mountain, N.B., and Cheverie, Walton, Onslow, Loch 
Lomond, Cape Breton, N.S. Much of the ore is 
sufficiently pure to be used for chemical purposes, 
some of it selling at the mines for $125 a ton. The 
lower grades are used in the iron industry. In 
Colchester and Pictou counties many of the iron ores 
are highly manganiferous. A number of deposits of 
wad occur in Quebec, principally in the Eastern Town- 
ships. Pyrolusite is found on the Magdalen Islands, 
Que., and manganite on the north shore of Lake 
Superior. New Brunswick and Nova Scotia are the 
only producing provinces, and most of their output is 


exported. In 1895 the production was 125 tons, 
valued at $8,464. In the same year oxid of man- 
ganese to the value of $2,800 was imported. The 
industry has fallen off enormously since 1890. 

LITERATURE. Penrose in the annual report, 1890, Vol. I., 
Arkansas Geol. Sur., gives a complete account of the origin, 
occurrence, use, etc., of the manganese deposits of America. 
Geol. Sur. Can., V. 1890 S. Dawson, "Acad. Geol." 


Chromium occurs in nature as the mineral chromite 
(FeCr 2 4 ), isomorphous with magnetite. It is usually 
massive, finely granular or compact, hard and black. 
It occurs in serpentine, either in veins or in im- 
bedded masses. It is rarely reduced to the metallic 
state, but a small quantity is used in a steel alloy, 
valuable on account of its great hardness combined 
with toughness. A more extensive use is in the 
manufacture of chromates of sodium and potassium 
used in dyeing. 

Chromite occurs in Quebec in the neighborhood of 
the asbestos mines. Many pockets have been dis- 
covered and quarried, but no systematic mining oper- 
ations have been undertaken. Much of the ore 
averages 50 per cent, and is worth at the railway $26 
a ton. The richer ore is shipped to the United States 
and a small amount to Nova Scotia. The lower grade 
ores are marketed in Great Britain. The production 
in 1895 was 3,177 tons, valued at $41,000. 

LITERATURE. Geol. Sur. IV. 1888 K. Can. Mining Manual, 



Ores of Nickel. There are a large number of 
minerals containing nickel, but most of them are 
not found in any abundance. Those which have been 
used as ores are a few of the sulfids and a silicate. 
Millerite (Ni S) contains 64 per cent, of nickel, and is 
characterized by its brass-yellow color, greenish-black 
streak and hair-like crystals. Niccolite is the arsenid 
of nickel and gersdorffite the sulpharsenid. Pyrrho- 
tite, (Fe 7 S 8 ) is, however, the chief sulfur ore of 
nickel. In many localities a small percentage (up to 
6) of nickel replaces a portion of the iron. The 
nickel is, indeed, an impurity in the pyrrhotite, and 
only the large amount in which this mineral is found 
makes it valuable as a source of nickel. In color 
pyrrhotite is bronze-yellow to copper-red, and often 
tarnished on the surface. The streak is dark greyish- 
black, and the powder magnetic. Genthite is a 
hydrous, nickel, magnesium silicate found on Michi- 
picoten Island, Lake Superior, and containing 23 per 
cent, of nickel. Closely related to it is garnierite, a 
soft, amorphous, pale-green mineral somewhat indefi- 
nite in composition but containing eight to thirty-six 
per cent, of nickel. 


Distribution. The minerals containing nickel are 
found all over the world, but in few localities are 
they sufficiently concentrated to be of value as ores. 
Pyrrhotite is found from the Atlantic to the Pacific, 
but the amount of nickel contained is usually small. 
Pyrrhotites from near St. Stephen, N.B., show 2.5 per 
cent, of nickel, which is almost as much as the average 
of the famous Sudbury region. 

In the last-named district several score of rich de- 
posits of nickeliferous pyrrhotite have been found in a 
belt of country four or five miles wide and fifty-five 
miles long. Outlying deposits occur south to the Geor- 
gian Bay, to the north-west at Straight Lake, and 
probably far to the north-east. Deposits of a similar 
character are worked in Norway. Millerite was 
noticed by officers of the Geological Survey at the 
Wallace Mine on the shore of the Georgian Bay as 
far back as 1848, but it was not until 1883 that the 
riches of the district were discovered. 

Silicates of nickel are seldom absent from the mag- 
nesium rocks of the Eastern Townships, Que., but in 
no place are they of economic importance. They are 
reported in paying quantities from Oregon and 
Nevada, and small amounts have been mined. New 
Caledonia, a French penal colony, has until recent 
years been much the largest producer of nickel. The 
ore, garnierite, is found in veins in serpentine associ- 
ated with chromic iron and steatite. 

Millerite has been worked at the Lancaster Gap 
Mine, Pa., for a number of years, but the mine is no 


longer productive. The same mineral was mined at 
Brompton Lake, Que., but as the rock mass only con- 
tained 1 per cent, of nickel the operation was not 

Geological Occurrence. All the important de- 
posits of nickel occur in metamorphic rocks. Gar- 
nierite, the silicate, is found with serpentine, and the 
sulfids and arsenids are associated with quartzites, 
slates and schists. In the Sudbury District the ores 
are found in masses, not in true fissure veins, in 
Huronian strata. The ore mass is usually a brecciated 
mixture of country rock, chalcopyrite and pyrrhotite. 
Sometimes one, sometimes the other of the last two 
predominates, but they are too intimately mixed to 
admit of separation by sorting. Originally the de- 
posit was worked for copper. The ore mass is usually 
lens-shaped, not only horizontally but also vertically. 
Diabase and diorite have been erupted through the 
Huronian sediments, and the nickel and copper 
deposits are usually close to the contact. Occasionally 
the ores are found in granite where diabase has 
pierced it. The sulfids are often found in the dia- 
base itself, and the enclosing rock is frequently im- 
pregnated. This leads to the conclusion that the ores 
and the diabase have been introduced at the same 
time, possibly at the close of the Huronian. 

Several companies are energetically engaged in 
mining and roasting the ores of the Sudbury district. 
As mined the ore contains one to four per cent of 
nickel and four to ten per cent, of copper. About 


3 per cent, of nickel seems to be the average, and 
occasionally one-fiftieth of this is cobalt. After being 
raised the ore is piled in heaps and roasted, sulfur 
being given off. It is then smelted to a matte which 
carries about 20 per cent, of nickel and 20 per cent, of 
copper. This is shipped to New Jersey or Wales for 
further treatment, as no refining is done in Canada. 

Uses. The metal is used for subsidiary coinage by 
the United States, Belgium and Germany. A small 
amount is made into cheap jewelry, principally watch 
cases. An alloy of nickel, copper and zinc is largely 
used under the name of German silver. Electro- 
plating with nickel is widely used to beautify parts 
of stoves, bicycles, etc. A far more extensive use 
than any of these has been found in recent years. 
Steel, alloyed with a small percentage of nickel, is 
greatly increased in strength. For armor plate the 
alloy seems particularly adapted. Where lightness 
as well as strength is a consideration, nickel-steel 
seems destined to replace ordinary steel. 

The price of nickel is gradually lessening as im- 
proved processes of refining are invented. In 1873 it 
was worth $6.00 a pound; in 1890, 65 cents; in 1893, 
52 cents ; in 1895, 35 cents. The annual consumption 
is about four thousand tons, of which Canada furnishes 
one-half; Norway mines a few hundred tons, and 
nearly all the remainder comes from New Caledonia. 
The Canadian production has been as follows : 




Pounds of 
Nickel in Matte. 

Value at 

Final Value. 


3 983 000 

$630 000 

$2 071,000 

1894 . . . 








LITERATURE. Description of the Sudbury Deposits : Bell, 
"Report F, Geol. Sur. Can.," V., 1890-91; Barlow, "Rep. 
S, Geol. Sur. Can.," V., 1890-91, pp. 122-140. Metallurgy: 
Bureau of Mines of Ontario Rep. 1892, pp. 149-161. Use in 
Armor Plate, etc.: Ib. 1893 and 1894. Origin: "Mineral 
Industry, "1895, p. 746. 


Cobalt occurs in a number of minerals, principally 
sulfids and arsenids, and usually associated with nickel 
and iron. Nearly all meteoric iron contains a small 
amount of the metal. While there are a number 
of minerals, they are not widely distributed and 
seldom occur in large amount. Most of the cobalt of 
commerce is a by-product in the refining of nickel. 
In one mine of the Sudbury district about 0.08 of 
1 per cent, of the ore smelted is metallic cobalt. This 
represents a production of nineteen tons in 1893, and 
three tons in 1894, worth about $460 a ton. Cobalt 
is used, chiefly as the oxid, in the manufacture of 
paints, colored porcelain, etc. 


Ores of Copper. Chalcopyrite (Cu Fe S 2 ), the most 
common ore of copper, resembles ordinary iron 
pyrites, but is much softer and of a deeper yellow. 
It yields, when pure, a little over 34 per cent, of 
copper. This is the chief copper ore of the Sudbury 
District. Bornite, also known as variegated copper 
ore, is an iron copper sulfid like chalcopyrite, but 
with a percentage of copper which varies from 55 to 
60. It is copper- red to brown in color, and the sur- 
face is always tarnished. Chalcocite (Cu ? S), called also 
vitreous copper ore, contains about 80 per cent, of 
copper. It is blackish lead-grey in color, often tar- 
nished blue or green, and is comparatively soft. It 
is found in rich, but small, deposits in the Carbon- 
iferous rocks of Pictou, N.S. These three ores are 
said to furnish three-fourths of the world's supply of 
copper. Native Copper is next in importance, fur- 
nishing about one-sixth. Most of this comes from 
the south shore of Lake Superior, but the mineral is 
also found in considerable quantities on the north 
side. It is found also in the Triassic trap of Nova 

* " Standard " Dictionary. 


Scotia, on the Coppermine River far to the north, and 
in British Columbia, but so far not in economic 
amounts. The mineral has a characteristic red color, 
a bright metallic lustre, and can be cut with a knife. 
Malachite, the green carbonate of copper, Azurite, the 
blue carbonate, Cuprite, the red oxid, Chrysocolla, the 
bluish-green silicate, are other ores as yet of no 
economic importance in Canada. Tetrahedrite, also 
called grey copper, is a complex sulfid of copper, 
antimony and other metals. It is proving of value 
as a source of silver in British Columbia, and so 
incidentally yields copper. 

Geological Occurrence. Copper ores are more 
usually found in the oldest rocks, the Archaean and 
Cambrian strata being particularly rich. Workable 
deposits are, however, found as late as the Permian, 
as at Mansfeld, Germany. 

The ores are found (1) in veins intersecting older 
rocks, as at Bruce Mines, north of Lake Huron ; (2) in 
mass deposits, as at the immense quarries on the Rio 
Tinto, Spain; (3) disseminated in beds, as at Mansfeld ; 
(4) as impregnations in amygdaloid s and conglomer- 
ates, well exemplified in the basin of Lake Superior. 

Canadian Localities. Maritime Provinces. The 
copper ore mined in Canada at present is only inci- 
dental to the production of sulfur, nickel and the 
precious metals. At a number of places in the Mari- 
time Provinces development work has been under- 
taken. Sulfids have been found in Pictou county, 
N.S., and in St. John and Albert counties, N.B., and 
in the latter case were worked for a time. In 


Annapolis county the Triassic traps contain strings 
of native copper which may prove of value. The 
Coxheath Mine, Cape Breton, is of greater promise. 
A number of veins bearing chalcopyrite are there 
found traversing a mass of f elsitic rocks of Laurentian 
age. Considerable sinking and drifting has been done, 
and several thousand tons of ore have been raised, 
large parts of which average 10 per cent, of copper. 
Smelting works are being erected on Sydney Harbor. 
About two thousand tons of copper ore are mined 
annually in Newfoundland. 

Quebec. Several score of " mines " and many more 
" prospects " have been partially explored in south- 
eastern Quebec. Some of these have proved to be 
rich deposits, and others might probably have been 
made paying investments had development work been 
carried far enough. The deposits occur along three 
anticlinal axes running north-eastward from the Ver- 
mont boundary. The ores are the sulfids chalcopy- 
rite, chalcocite and bornite. They are found in veins, 
in irregular masses and in what seem to be beds, but 
which are probably in reality of eruptive origin. In 
nearly all cases they are associated with diorites, 
apparently of Cambrian age. In the western belt the 
variegated and vitreous ores are most common, and 


occur in dolomitic beds belonging to the Upper Cam- 
brian. The pioneer mine of the district was the 
Acton, first worked in 1858. From it sixteen thous- 
and tons of 12 per cent, copper were taken. 

In the central and eastern belts the ores occur in 
Pre-Cambrian, micaceous and chloritic schists. The 


Harvey Hill and Huntingdon mines represent the 
former region, the Capleton group the latter. Many 
hundred tons were produced by the Harvey Hill and 
Huntingdon, but they have been closed for several 
years. In the Capleton district the ore is a mixture 
of chalcopyrite and pyrite containing thirty-five to 
forty per cent, of sulfur, and four to five per cent, of 
copper. It carries in addition from one to seventy- 
five ounces of silver to the ton, averaging $4.00 to 
$5.00 in value. The Eustis mine, typical of the group, 
is an irregular deposit four to fifty feet wide and 
explored to a depth of 1,600 feet. Most of the ore is 
shipped to New Jersey for the manufacture of sul- 
furic acid. The copper and silver are afterwards 

Ontario. Chalcopyrite and native copper are the 
two important copper ores of Ontario. The former 
occurs in greatest abundance north of Lake Huron ; 
the latter around the shores of Lake Superior. The 
years 1849-1875 constitute the first period of copper 
mining in Ontario, during which much ore was raised 
and shipped, but without profit to the shareholders. 

The Bruce and Wellington mines on the north shore 
of Lake Huron produced nearly forty-five thousand 
tons of dressed copper ore, worth about $3,500,000. 
The mines embrace half a dozen veins of quartz in 
diorite, spread over an area of a square mile. The 
veins were three to fifteen feet wide, and the work- 
ings were carried down about 450 feet. The ore, 
mainly chalcopyrite, averaged 6 J per cent, copper as it 
came from the shaft. The great expense of mining 


and shipping to England, the failure of smelting 
plants erected at the mines, the decrease in the value 
of copper, all contributed to make the work unprofi- 
table at that time. 

Since 1846 a number of companies have made 
explorations at Michipicoten Island, St. Ignace Island, 
Mamainse, Point Aux Mines, and other places on the 
north shore of Lake Superior. The rocks outcrop- 
ping at these points are the same as those which in 
Michigan have* proved to be so rich in native copper. 
According to Irving, the bed of Lake Superior is a 
geosyncline, the Huronian and overlying Keweenaw- 
ian rocks extending beneath the waters of the lake 
in a gentle fold. The Keweenawian formation, or 
Nipigon, as it is known in Ontario, outcrops as a 
narrow fringe around part of the shore of the lake, 
except in the vicinity of Lake Nipigon where a 
considerable area is found. Through these Nipigon 
sediments immense masses of volcanic material were 
erupted, and in the more vesicular outflows and in 
the associated sandstones native copper is now found. 
Keweenaw Point on the south shore has proved to be 
exceptionally rich. One of its mines, the famous 
Calumet and Hecla, produced, in 1895, one tenth of 
the whole world product of copper. On the Canadian 
shore native copper has been found at a number of 
points, often in rich though small amounts, and 
always inciting the explorers to develop their proper- 
ties further. The ore exists as an impregnation of 
beds of sandstones, conglomerates and vesicular trap. 
It is also found in veins, associated with calcite, 


cutting these beds. The copper is always irregularly 
distributed, and considerable quantities of barren 
rock have often to be removed. Prehnite arid epidote 
are here associated with the copper, as on the south 
shore. Indeed, the indications are quite favorable, 
but so far no profitable mine has been discovered. A 
six-hundred-pound mass of native copper, taken from 
a shaft at Mamainse, is probably the largest yet 
found. At Michipicoten a shaft has been sunk over 
five hundred feet in an amygdaloidal bed, and 1,500 
feet of drifting done. The copper carries a little 
native silver in many places, and malachite, cuprite, 
chalcopyrite are often found with it. 

In 1882 large deposits of chalcopyrite were dis- 
covered near Sudbury, Ont. The ore is " a brecciated 
or agglomerated mixture of the pyrrhotite and chal- 
copyrite along with the country rock." This mixed 
ore is usually in or near masses of diorite, intrusive 
through Huronian or Laurentian rocks. It occurs in 
lenses which thicken and thin out vertically as well 
as laterally. At first the ore was mined for copper, 
but nickel, which is found in the pyrrhotite, is now 
the more valuable constituent. (See Nickel.) The 
average output of the three mines of the Canadian 
Copper Company is 4.3 per cent, of copper, and 
3.5 per cent, of nickel. The ores are roasted in 
heaps in the open air to drive off sulfur, then 
smelted to a matte containing eighteen to twenty 
per cent, each of copper and nickel. This matte is 
shipped to New Jersey or to Wales for further treat- 
ment. The quantity of ore in the district seems 


inexhaustible, and the copper and nickel mines are 
now firmly established. In 1895 eighty-six thousand 
tons of ore were smelted at Sudbury. 

British Columbia. Ores of copper are widely 
distributed throughout the whole area of the Pacific 
Province. Several attempts have been made to 
develop them, but so far unsuccessfully. Many of 
the most promising gold and silver ores contain large 
amounts of copper, and the recently developed mines 
in West Kootenay are yielding a very large amount 
of copper in addition to the gold and silver for which 
they are worked. 

Uses. Next to silver, copper is the best conductor 
of electricity, and so is used in telephone trunk lines, 
trolley wires, etc. Its great toughness makes it 
valuable for boilers, stills, sheeting wooden ships, 
etc. It is a component of brass, bronze and other 
alloys used for machinery, cannon, bells, coins and 
statuary. A number of its salts, as blue vitriol and 
Paris green, find extensive use in the arts. 

Production. No copper is at present refined in 
Canada, all the ore mined being exported either as raw 
ore carrying about 4 per cent, of copper or as a matte 
carrying fifteen or twenty per cent. In 1894 the final 
value of the copper in the ore produced was $736,000, 
of which Quebec contributed $207,000; Ontario, 
$495,000 ; British Columbia, $34,000. In 1895 the 
total value was $949,000, the increase being due 
to the copper-gold mines of British Columbia. In 
1896 the output of this province was doubled, and 
the total for the year is a little over a million. The 


imports of pig and scrap copper in 1895 were valued 
at $7,000, and of manufactures at $252,000. The 
annual production of copper in the world is steadily 
increasing, the increase being just about equal to that 
made by the United States. The following table is 
compiled from Roth well's "Mineral Industry": 


Metric Tons, of 2,204 Ibs. 

Australasia 10,000 

Canada 3,987 

Cape of Good Hope 30,000 

Germany 17,000 

Japan 19,000 

Mexico 12,000 

Russia 5,000 

Spain and Portugal 56,000 

United States 175,000 

All others 12,000 

Total 340,000 

LITERATURE. Localities and History of Operations. Mari- 
time Provinces: Da wson's "Acadian Geology." Quebec: Geol. 
Sur. Reports, 1863 ; III. 1887 K ; IV. 1888-89 K ; Obalski, 
"Mines and Minerals of Que.," 1890. Ontario: Lake Superior 
"Geol. Can.," 1863 ; Geol. Sur. III. 1887, 9-12 H; "Min. Re- 
sources of Ont.," 1890 ; Rep. Bur. of Mines, Ont., 1893 ; Bruce 
Mines, etc. "Min. Res. Ont.," 1890; Sudbury Geol. Sur. 
Rep., V. 1890 F. (See also references under Nickel.) British 
Columbia: Rep. Geol. Sur. III., 1887, 101 R, 152 R; VII. 
1894, 52 S. Production. Reports of the Geol. Sur. of each 
year. Irving, "The Copper-bearing Rocks of Lake Superior." 
Peters, " Modern American Methods of Copper Smelting." 



Sulfur, from a chemical standpoint, is an acidic 
element, and so in strictness should not be classed 
here under the metals. As, however, it is mined in 
Canada as a constituent of copper ores, this is a con- 
venient place for considering it. Sulfur is found 
native at only a few places in Canada, and never in 
economic quantities. It does exist, however, in 
immense quantities as sulfids of a number of metals. 
Pyrite (Fe S 2 ), the sulfid of iron, contains 53 per cent, 
of sulfur. It is a brassy- looking mineral, hard enough 
to strike fire with a piece of steel, and is frequently 
found in cubic crystals. It occurs in rocks of all 
ages, and as it oxidizes readily it frequently causes 
undesirable stains on building stones. Chalcopyrite 
(Cu Fe S 2 ) is a similar mineral, but softer and yellower. 
It contains 35 per cent, each of copper and sulfur. 
These two minerals are largely used as sources of 
sulfur for sulfuric acid. Other sulfids occurring in 
large quantities in Canada are galena (PbS), the sul- 
fid of lead; blende (ZnS), the sulfid of zinc; pyrrhotite 
(Fe 7 S 8 ), another sulfid of iron. 

Uses. Sulfur is required for manufacturing gun- 
powder, matches and vulcanized rubber; for bleaching 
straw and woollen goods ; for cementing iron and 
stone ; for making sulfuric acid. This last is one of 
the most important compounds known to chemistry 
and commerce. It is said that a nation's civilization 
may be gauged by the amount of sulfuric acid it 


Although native sulfur is required for most purposes, 
pyrite answers equally as well as the element in 
making sulfuric acid. The pyrites, iron and copper, 
are consequently slowly driving the native element 
from the acid factories by reason of their cheapness. 
Especially is this true of ores like those of Capleton, 
Quebec, which are valuable for their copper and silver 
contents, and from which the sulfur must be separated 

The pyrites are burned to form sulfur dioxid gas, 
and the residues are treated with acids to obtain the 
copper, silver or gold. Thoroughly burned pyrite 
retains about 1 per cent, of sulfur, and iron contain- 
ing not more than that can now be used for some 
purposes. Pyrites suitable for sulfuric acid should 
have the following characteristics : (1) A high per 
cent, of sulfur, 35 to 53 ; (2) freedom from arsenic, 
antimony and lead; (3) readiness in yielding the 
sulfur ; a granular and porous pyrite is easier to work 
than a compact one ; absence of fluxes is desirable ; 
(4) valuable accessory metals, as silver, copper, gold, 
are a great advantage. 

Production. The Capleton and Eustis mines in 
southern Quebec are the only Canadian producers 
which use the sulfur in their ores. A part is made 
into sulfuric acid at the works ; a much larger por- 
tion is shipped to the United States. A third portion 
is smelted at the mines, the sulfur being wasted and 
the matte exported. These mines are described 
under Copper, earlier in this chapter. Other sulfuric 
acid factories at Brockville and at Smith's Falls, 


Ontario, have also used pyrites. Immense quantities 
of sulfur are wasted at Sudbury. Nearly five million 
pounds of sulfuric acid are used annually in refining 

Canadian petroleum. 

1890. 1895. 

Production of) Tons 49,000 34,000 

Pyrites .... /Value .... $123,000 $103,000 

Imports crude\Tons 2,220 2,450 

Sulfur /Value. . . . $44,000 $57,000 

LITERATURE. " Min. Resources of Ont.," 1890. Rep. 
Geol. Sur., 1874, p. 304 ; ib. IV., 1888, 53 K, 158 K ; ib. VIII., 
1895, S. 



IN the first half of the present century Russia held 
first place as a gold producer. In 1848 came the 
discoveries in California, which soon sent the United 
States to the top. Three years later rich deposits 
were announced in Victoria. In a few years Australia 
climbed to the foremost position, and the place of 
honor has alternated between that island and the 
United States until recently. The South African 
field, discovered in 1884, has been developed with 
surprising rapidity. In 1895 the Transvaal succeeded 
in passing Australia, and if the rate of advance is 
continued it will soon surpass the United States. 

In 1896 announcements were made of rich discov- 
eries, which it is hoped will make Canada a worthy 
rival of California, Victoria and the Transvaal. In 
1895 Canada was twelfth among nations in the 
value of her gold output, and it is quite probable 
that she may reach fifth, or sixth, place within a few 
years. Mexico, which at present ranks fifth, is in- 
creasing her gold output very rapidly. On the same 
Cordilleran range as British Columbia, with enormous 
deposits of silver already exploited, Mexico may 


prove as rich in gold as Canada. It will be some 
years before either country reaches the fourth place 
now held by Russia. 

Origin. All substances can be resolved into one or 
more of the seventy primary elements. These elements, 
of which gold is one, cannot be changed into one 
another, though they combine in various proportions 
to form different substances. So far as we know 
they have existed from the creation. On the cooling 
of the molten earth most of them assumed a solid 
condition, either alone or in combination. Gold seems 
to have remained free, and pretty thoroughly dis- 
tributed through the crystalline rocks. It is found 
now in nearly all rocks, and in sea water, but in 
such minute quantities that it cannot be economically 

Nature, however, at once set about concentrating it 
for man's use when he should appear in later ages. 
Running water was the agent employed. The ancient 
rocks were slowly disintegrated and the minerals 
floated off. Gold, which is seven times heavier than 
quartz, was carried down the turbulent mountain 
streams, to be deposited with the coarser sands and 
gravels at the first eddy or level stretch of water, 
whilst the lighter minerals and finest particles were 
carried on. Many of these river sediments, perhaps 
reasserted by lake or ocean action, have been consoli- 
dated by pressure to form sandstones and conglom- 
erates. Finer particles of gold were even carried 
to the sea, so that marine sediments also contain 
disseminated gold, though in exceedingly minute 


amounts. Subjected to pressure and heat these sedi- 
ments became the metamorphic rocks slates and 

Meanwhile, in another way, concentration was being 
effected. Fissures were made in the metamorphic, and 
also in the igneous rocks. Hot solutions of quartz, 
carrying iron and copper sulfids, leached the gold 
from the underlying and adjacent rocks and placed 
it in the vein where the quartz and pyrites solidified 
around it. These quartz veins have also been subjected 
to denuding agencies, and they probably have fur- 
nished most of the gold found in modern river 
gravels. In still a third way has concentration 
been brought about. In many copper and silver 
mines gold is an accessory mineral. These deposits 
are sometimes of an eruptive origin, i.e., the mineral 
matter has come from below in a fluid condition. 

Occurrence. Gold nearly always occurs as the 
native element; its natural compounds are mineral 
curiosities. It alloys readily with silver, and is 
nearly always found with a small percentage of 
that metal. Quebec gold contains about 12 per 
cent, of silver; that of Nova Scotia is nearly pure. 
When in visible particles, gold is easily recognized 
by its yellow color, malleability, and by the ease 
with which it may be cut with a knife. Iron and 
copper pyrites, the former known as "fool's gold," are 
the only minerals which resemble it. Both are much 
harder, both crumble under a hammer, both yield 
fumes of sulfur when heated with a blowpipe, and 
both lack the peculiar lustre of gold. 


Dependent on the mode of origin, four classes of 
gold deposits may be noticed : 

1. Placers, in which auriferous gravels of the 
Tertiary and Quaternary ages are worked. The gold 
is free, and may be separated easily from the sand by 
means of mercury. These placers have been, and 
probably still are, the most important source of gold. 
Their place is, however, slowly being taken by the 
next class. 

2. The second class of deposits are the auriferous 
quartz veins. They are widely distributed in all 
kinds of metamorphic rocks of all geological ages. 
They are more expensive to work than the first, since 
the ore must be mined and crushed before being 
amalgamated. Two subdivisions should be noted : 
(a) That in which the gold is free in a quartz contain- 
ing little or no sulfids ; (6) That in which a con- 
siderable part of the gold is in sulfids of iron, copper, 
lead or zinc in the quartz. This class, especially 
division a, is represented by the ores of Nova Scotia 
and western Ontario. 

3. The ancient gravel deposits, as illustrated by 
the auriferous sandstone of Cambrian age, in the 
Black Hills, Dakota. The Carboniferous conglomer- 
ates of Australia, and also of Nova Scotia, are other 

4. The occurrence of gold in eruptive deposits 
makes a fourth class. The ores of the Rossland (B.C.) 
region are an example. 

Methods of Milling. The methods of separating 
a metal from its ore hardly find a place in a work of 


this kind. A brief explanation may, however, be 
given for gold, and details can be sought in a work on 
metallurgy. Free gold is easily separated from its 
gangue. In placer mining an inclined trough is 
arranged near the supply of gravel. Across the 
bottom are placed cleats, and over them a stream of 
sand, water and gold is caused to flow. These cross- 
pieces in the bottom of the sluice check the current, 
and so tend to hold the heavy gold which is sliding 
along the bottom. Behind these cleats or riffles 
mercury is placed. This element has a great affinity 
for gold, and greedily grasps and dissolves any 
particle being washed over it. At intervals the 
amalgam of mercury and gold is placed in a retort, 
and heated to drive off the mercury. The gold, left 
behind as a powder, is fused and sent to the market 
as a " brick." 

In quartz mining the first step is the crushing of 
the ore in a stamp mill. Iron weights or stamps of 
eight hundred pounds are dropped about eight inches, 
about eighty times a minute, on pieces of quartz. 
Water carries off through a sieve the fine pulp, which 
then flows over an inclined copper table covered with 
mercury. At intervals the amalgam is scraped off 
and retorted as previously described. 

Any gold held in the sulfids is not attacked by the 
mercury, and so passes over into the tailings and is 
lost. To prevent this, a mechanical separation of the 
heavy sulfids and light quartz is effected. A machine 
known as a vanner is largely used. A wide belt 
constantly moves upward over an inclined table. 


The stream of pulp is directed on this belt which 
carries up the heavy sulfids containing the gold, while 
the water carries downwards the light quartz. In 
this way the "concentrates" are saved for further 
treatment. These concentrates, and in many mines 
the whole ore, must be treated chemically to obtain 
the gold. First they are roasted, or calcined, to free 
them from sulfur. Then they are treated with chlorin, 
potassium cyanid, or bromo-cyanogen to dissolve the 
gold, which is afterwards precipitated. 

Canadian Localities. Nova Scotia Along the 
Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia there is an extensive 
development of Cambrian strata. The rocks, which 
are quartzites, sandstones and slates, are about twelve 
thousand feet thick, of which the lower three-fourths 
are most auriferous. At many localities igneous 
rocks have been erupted, and apparently at the same 
time quartz veins were formed. The sedimentary 
strata were thrown into folds with their axes running 
east and west. Along the denuded crests of these 
folds quartz veins are found which resemble bedded 
deposits. These veins are for the most part narrow, 
most of those worked being less than a foot in width. 
They extend from a few hundred feet to several 
miles in length. The area through which they are 
found is probably six thousand to seven thousand 
square miles, though actual operations are restricted 
to a much smaller area. The ore is almost entirely 
free milling, and has averaged $13.70 a ton for the 
province for thirty years. The Gold River and 
Renfrew districts have the richest ores at present. 


The Stormont and Caribou districts, working on low 
grade ores, yield the largest returns. The total 
production to the end of 1894 was $11,000,000. The 
Sherbrooke and Waverly districts have been the 
chief producers. Nova Scotia seems destined to 
yield a small but steady supply of gold. The in- 
dustry is being extended to the low grade ores which 
exist in much wider veins, and which are being mined 
and milled for $2.50 a ton, leaving all over that for 
profit. This is small in comparison with Rossland, B.C., 
where $15 ore is the least that will pay at present. 

Quebec. Gold was accidentally discovered in the 
Gilbert Creek, a tributary of the Chaudiere, about 
1823. For many years it was neglected, and the min- 
ing operations even of the last fifty years have been 
very desultory. The gold is found in gravels which 
constitute the beds of preglacial streams. The Gilbert, 
Des Plantes, DuMoulin, DuLoup tributaries of the 
Chaudiere in Beauce county have been the chief pro- 
ducers. Ditton Creek has also proved to be rich. 
The gravels which lie on bed rock are always richer 
than those above a bed of clay. Many of these early 
gravels are one hundred feet below the level of the 
present streams. They are covered by boulder clay, 
a product of the glacial age. The gravels are always 
richer when near veins of quartz which intersect the 
Cambrian rocks of the district. These rocks, which 
are slates and sandstones, closely resemble the corre- 
sponding gold-bearing strata of the same age which 
occur in Nova Scotia. Workable quartz veins have 
not yet been discovered. The gold is all derived from 


the placers, much of it in a primitive way. Modern 
hydraulic methods are being applied, and the output, 
which has been small and uncertain, will doubtless be 

Ontario. Rich deposits of free gold were discovered 
in Hastings county in 1866. Prospectors flocked in 
and located hundreds of properties. Many companies 
were formed and development work begun. The first 
returns were very encouraging, but at a slight depth 
the ore changed from a free-milling quartz to a refrac- 
tory arsenical pyrites. With the methods in use the 
gold passed over into the tailings and was lost. No 
successful means of separating the gold could be 
found, and one after another the mines were closed. 
Within the last few years renewed attempts have 
been made with more modern processes, with the 
probability of final success. Besides these rich 
arsenical ores free-milling quartz veins have been 
worked not only in Hastings, but in Peterboro' and 
in Addington. The Hastings district will likely 
become a small but steady producer. The veins 
occur in Upper Laurentian or Huronian strata. 

In the strip of Huronian rocks stretching north- 
eastward from Lake Huron to Sudbury, and on to 
the Ottawa River, a number of promising gold dis- 
coveries have been made. For the most part the ore 
is a free-milling quartz with a little pyrite, occurring 
in bedded deposits. Two stamp mills have been 
erected, but the output is irregular as yet. 

From Lake Superior west to Manitoba prospecting 
has been carried on vigorously since the opening of 


the railway. Many hundred "prospects" have been 
located and considerable development done. About a 
dozen mines are equipped with stamp mills, several of 
which have passed the experimental stage and are 
working continuously. The ore is a free-milling 
quartz, containing about 2 per cent, of sulfids. In 
mill tests the ores give from six to thirty dollars in 
free gold, and about one-fifth more in the concentrates. 
The veins, which are both bedded and fissure, occur 
usually in Keewatin (Huronian ?) schists, but also in 
the Laurentian granite near the contact of the two. 
The Sultana, the best developed mine in the district, is 
right at the contact of the Keewatin and Laurentian. 
The shaft is over 350 feet in depth, and the vein 
has a width, on the third level, of upwards of 30 feet. 
British Columbia. After gleaning the surface 
riches of California the gold hunters drifted north- 
wards. In 1857 came the first authentic news of rich 
finds on the Fraser. The next spring 20,000 people 
reached Victoria within four months. The difficulties 
of penetrating the interior were, however, so great 
that the majority turned back. A few thousand 
people pushed up the Fraser and were richly rewarded. 
Their methods were crude in the extreme, and only 
the richest bars proved profitable. Year by year 
they pushed farther up the main stream and its 
tributaries, carrying with them all the necessaries of 
life. In 1860 they reached the Cariboo district, one 
of the best placer mining camps ever found. The 
following year came the discovery of Williams and 
Lightning creeks, on which were found the richest 


placers yet discovered in British Columbia. In two 
years it is said $2,000,000 were got out by 1,500 men. 
The richness of "Golden Cariboo" caused a large 
immigration from all parts of the world for the next 
few years. A party started overland from eastern 
Canada, and after many misfortunes most of them 
reached their destination. Placers were next found 
on the Kootenay and Columbia. Northward from 
Cariboo the prospector forced his way into the 
Omenica district. A few years later the advance 
guard reached the Cassiar district on the northern 
boundary of the province. In 1880 the tide, in a 
restricted flow, had reached the head-waters of the 
Yukon in the North-West Territories. 

These early pioneers skimmed but the surface of 
the bars, i.e., the portions of the river bed uncovered 
at low water, and of the terraces on the banks. 
Succeeding miners sought the equally rich deposits 
more difficult of access. For instance, Lightning Creek 
was filled with glacial deposits to a depth of 50 to 1 50 
feet. As the modern stream bed was rich there was 
a probability of the preglacial bed being the same. 
Shafts were sunk and tunnels run, and the old channel 
cleared out for a distance of three miles. Again, 
auriferous gravels on the banks of streams are now 
mined by hydraulic methods where the old " rocker " 
would not pay. Streams of water under great pres- 
sure are directed against a gravel bed, and everything 
washed down a sluiceway at very small cost. Riffles 
in the sluice catch the gold. 

About $58,000,000 of gold have so far been taken 


from the placers of British Columbia, principally 
from river bars. Many millions are yet to be obtained 
by hydraulic methods from the terrace deposits of the 
Fraser and other streams. Even the beds of the 
rivers may be successfully exploited by dredges or 
by dams. There is scarcely a stream of importance 
in British Columbia in which " colors " of gold cannot 
be found. The richest areas are, however, in the 
parallel and partly overlapping ranges collectively 
known as the Gold Range. This range includes the 
Purcell, Selkirk, Columbia or Gold, Cariboo, Omenica 
and Cassiar Mountains. It lies parallel with the 
Rocky Mountain range to the south-west. It will 
probably prove the most important metalliferous belt 
of British Columbia. The Vancouver range is also 
very promising. 

Since 1863, when they yielded nearly $4,000,000, 
the placers have been steadily decreasing in value. 
In 1893 the product was only $380,000; but in 1896 
it rose to $544,000. Attention was for this reason 
directed to the quartz veins from which the gold was 
derived. The province is passing through the experi- 
ence of California and Australia, where the miners 
began on placers but are now working the veins. The 
most important mines and " prospects " are in the 
Trail Creek division of the West Kootenay district and 
in the Kettle River and Osooyos divisions of the Yale 
district. In some camps of the last named the ore is a 
free-milling quartz. In the Trail Creek division nearly 
all the ore is refractory. The three divisions lie side 
by side along the northern boundary of Washington 


state, and are much alike in the character of their ore. 
Greater development has taken place in Trail Creek 
owing to accessibility. The typical ore of Rossland 
is either a " nearly massive fine-grained pyrrhotite and 
copper pyrites, with more or less quartz and calcite," 
or a poorer ore consisting of diorite with a compara- 
tively small percentage of the sulfids. The ore 
resembles that which carries nickel at Sudbury. 
Average smelter returns of the Le Roi mine are for 
first class ore $53; for second, $28. This includes 
the silver and copper values. Immense bodies of low 
grade ores are found, and the successful treatment of 
these will depend on a cheapening of the smelting 
process. The production of the division has increased 
with enormous rapidity, and everything points to 
Kootenay as an enduring and profitable mining 
district. Quartz veins will in time be worked in 
Cariboo to the north, but at present that district 
depends on its placers. T'he district of Alberni on 
Vancouver Island may also prove rich in quartz 
deposits. With the advent of more modern methods 
of working the placers, and with the new develop- 
ments in vein mining the output of gold from British 
Columbia is bound to increase enormously. 

Other Placers. Far to the north, on the Yukon 
and its tributaries, miners are washing the sands by 
the old methods and are reaping an enormous har- 
vest. On the Saskatchewan also, near Edmonton, 
similar work is in progress. It is of interest to note 
that here the immediate source of the gold is the 
Cretaceous sediments of the Edmonton series. These 



sandstones were probably derived from the Coast 
Range of British Columbia. 

The following tables are self-explanatory: 







Nova Scotia 



$ 406,765 





Alberta and Yukon. 
British Columbia. . . 






$976 603 


$1,910 900 



1. United States $46,800,000 

2. Transvaal 43,000,000 

3. Australasia 42,800,000 

4. Russia 34,000,000 

5. Mexico 5,600,000 

6. China 4,700,000 

7. India 4,500,000 

8. Colombia 3,200,000 

9. Germany 2,900,000 

10. Brazil 2,200,000 

11. British Guiana 2,200,000 

12. Canada 1,900,000 

13. Austria 1,800,000 

14. French Guiana 1,600,000 

All others 6,243,772 


RothweU's "Mineral Industry." 

THE MINERAL WEALT^fi^fiBfltr 79 

LITERATUHE. General : Phillips and Louis ' ' Ore Deposits ; " 
Rep S of the Geol. Sur. for each year ; Can. Mining Manual, 1896. 
Nova Scotia : Annual reports of Dep. of Mines ; Trans. Am. Inst. 
Min. Eng. XIV.; Trans. Min. Soc., Nova Scotia, 1894-95; Bibli- 
ography 158 P Geol. Sur. II. 1886. Quebec : Rep. K. Geol. 
Sur. IV. 1888. Ontario : Geol. Sur. 1871 ; Min. Resources of 
Ontario, 1890; Bur. Mines Rep. 1893, '94, '95/96. British 
Columbia : A brief history of the placer mining, a list of locali- 
ties, references to literature are given in Rep. R Geol. Sur. 
1887-88 ; ancient placer deposits and conditions of occurrence 
of recent ones, 310-329 B. Geol. Sur. VII. 1894. Bulletin 
No. 2 on Trail Creek in Rep. Min. of Mines, British Columbia, 


Platinum is a silver-white metal, nearly always 
found alloyed with iron, rhodium, iridium and 
osmium. It is found as black grains in many gold 
placers. From magnetite it may be distinguished by 
its high specific gravity and its malleability. Like 
magnetite it is often magnetic. Its use in the arts 
depends on its great resistance to heat and to chemi- 
cal reagents. Made into pans it is used in the concen- 
tration of sulfuric acid. In chemical laboratories it is 
used as crucibles, tongs, in galvanic batteries, etc. It 
is extensively used as a conductor of electricity in 
incandescent bulbs. It finds further employment in 
dentistry and in photography. Indeed, a substance 
so indestructible is only limited in use because of the 
high price. 

Placer deposits of the Urals furnish most of the 
supply. Smaller amounts come from Colombia, Ore- 
gon and British Columbia. In 1891, the last-named 
furnished $10,000, but that amount has dwindled to 


$3,800 in 1895. It was furnished by the streams of 
the Similikameen district. It is also found on the 
Fraser, Tranquille, Yukon. Saskatchewan and Chau- 
diere, associated with the gold. As it does not alloy 
with mercury it is usually unnoticed. No doubt it 
could be found in many places in paying quantities. 
It seems to be connected in origin with masses of 
chromite and serpentine, and these again are associ- 
ated with eruptive diorites. 



Ores of Silver. Silver, lead and zinc are frequently 
associated in nature, and so they are best treated 
together. Silver is found native in many regions in 
small amounts. It is easily known by its pure white 
color, though it may have a dark tarnish. More 
commonly it is found in combination with other ele- 
ments. With sulfur it forms argentite, blackish 
lead-grey in color, soft and malleable. With sulfur 
and antimony silver forms stephanite, iron-black in 
color, and pyrargyrite, dark red to black. Proustite 
is the corresponding arsenic compound, light red in 
color. All of these minerals are soluble in nitric acid, 
and yield a white precipitate on the addition of a 
solution of salt. Cerargyrite, or horn silver, is the 
naturally occurring chlorid. It is greyish-green in 
color, and looks like wax or horn. Silver always 
accompanies galena, the sulfid of lead, varying from a 
few thousandths of a per cent, to 1 per cent. With 
the larger amounts the mineral becomes an ore of 
silver. In a similiar way tetrahedrite, or grey copper 
ore, often carries enough silver to be of value as a 
source of that metal as well as of the copper. Still 


another source of silver is as an alloy with gold, most 
placer gold containing several per cent, of the white 

These silver minerals are rarely found in any 
amounts, but more commonly as strings and thin 
seams disseminated through a large bulk of gangue, 
mostly quartz or calcite. An ore mass yielding $100 
to the ton is considered a rich deposit, and yet this is 
equal to only one-half of 1 per cent, of silver. It thus 
often happens that the silver minerals are in such 
small particles that they cannot be readily determined. 

The greater part of the silver of the world is 
obtained as a by-product in the mining of other min- 
erals. This is especially true of Europe and North 
America. Lead is the most common associated metal, 
though copper and zinc occur very frequently. In 
hundreds of mines operations would not pay were 
silver the only metal to be won. 

Occurrence. Silver ores occur in most of the 
classes of deposits tabulated in a preceding chapter. 
True fissure veins are perhaps most common, though 
bedded and contact veins are often found. These 
veins cut eruptive granite and Archaean schists in the 
Slocan district of British Columbia, and are found in 
sedimentary argillites of Lower Cambrian age in 
Ontario. Many of the most famous veins are incased 
in volcanic rocks of Tertiary age. The Comstock lode 
of Nevada which has yielded $325,000,000, occurs at 
the contact of two igneous rocks, and was evidently 
filled in very recent times by solutions from below. 
Associated with lead, silver occurs in mass deposits in 


many parts of western America. The Cordilleras and 
the Andes, the backbones of the two Americas, are 
the great repositories of silver ores. Five-sevenths of 
the world's output comes from these regions. 

Canadian Localities. Argentiferous galena is re- 
ported from a number of places in Quebec, but apart 
from prospecting no mining operations have been 
undertaken. In Beauce and Compton counties quartz 
veins carrying galena are found cutting Lower Cam- 
brian slates. This galena is frequently rich in silver. 
A large deposit of silver-lead occurs on the east side 
of Lake Temiscamingue. The copper ores of the 
Ascot belt usually carry silver up to ten ounces a ton. 
The average obtained from the Capleton pyrite mines 
is three to four ounces a ton, and this is the source of 
the present output of Quebec. (See Chapter V.) 

In Ontario, at the west end of Lake Superior, there 
is a triangular area of Animikie rocks of Lower Cam- 
brian age. These rocks are argillites and cherts, with 
intrusive sills of basic rocks which frequently appear 
as a capping of the precipitous hills. Associated with 
these trap-flows and their accompanying dikes are 
veins carrying silver ores. The gangue material is 
quartz, barite, calcite or fluorite, and blende, galena 
and pyrite are irregularly distributed in it. The 
silver occurs as argentite or as native silver, usually 
with the blende. 

The most famous mine of the district is that of 
Silver Islet, discovered in 1868, from which some 
$3,250,000 were taken. The original islet, only 90 
feet in diameter, lies near Thunder Cape in Lake 


Superior. It owed its existence to a hard dike of 
quartz diabase over 200 feet in width, which resisted 
erosion. This was crossed by a vein striking N. W., 
which was thought to be traced to and on the main- 
land for about 9,000 feet. Where the vein crossed 
the island dike it was enormously rich, but in the 
argillites and where it crossed twenty other dikes, no 
paying ore could be found. The shaft was sunk 1,250 
feet, and several bonanzas struck, with much barren 
rock between. The mine has been flooded since 1884, 
and it is doubtful whether it could be successfully 
operated again, though it is probable that similar ore 
bunches exist at greater depths. Many other proper- 
ties in the district have been worked, but none 
approach this one in magnitude. The fall in the 
price of silver in 1892 caused the cessation of silver- 
mining in the Thunder Bay district. Argentiferous 
galena has been mined at Garden River, north of 
Lake Huron, and promising prospects are known in 
Hastings and Frontenac counties, and around Lakes 
Temagami and Temiscamingue. 

British Columbia is the silver-producing province 
of the Dominion. From ten to twenty-five per cent, 
of the placer gold is said to be silver, but the value of 
it is accredited to gold in the tables published. 
Notwithstanding this the output of silver surpasses 
that of gold. Kootenay is the only producing district, 
the Ainsworth, Nelson and Slocan divisions being the 
chief regions, and smaller amounts coming from Trail 
Creek and East Kootenay. The Slocan is the most 
productive mining district in the province, its pre- 


eminence being due to its silver-lead ore. Many of 
the veins are narrow, varying from two inches to 
twenty in width. Much of the ore is, however, very 
rich, and only this has made possible the opening and 
developing of properties so far removed from supplies 
in the face of a great fall in the value of silver. The 
average return on 18,000 tons of ore mined in the 
Slocan in 1896 was 117 ounces of silver and 53 per 
cent, of lead. 

The chief ore is argentiferous galena, with some 
zinc blende and grey copper in a gangue of quartz 
and spathic iron. The veins cut across lower Palae- 
ozoic stratified rocks, and through eruptive dikes. 
They are also found in an extensive area of eruptive 
granite. Veins containing argentiferous tetrahedrite, 
or grey copper, are also found. Veins carrying argen- 
tite with native silver and gold in a quartz gangue 
are found in some granite areas. At the Hall's mines, 
in Nelson, the ore is a mixture of copper sulfids carry- 
ing silver. Smelters are at work at Nelson, Trail and 
Pilot Bay, but much of the ore is exported to the 
United States for treatment. The production is 
increasing rapidly, and with cheaper supplies many 
lower grade ores can be successfully worked. While 
only a small district is at present being developed, 
the argentiferous region extends 1,200 miles to the 

Use and Production. The use of silver is deter- 
mined by its beauty, its comparative rarity, and by 
its resistance to the ordinary processes of change or 
destruction. Accordingly it finds employment in 



articles of luxury and ornament, and as a medium of 
exchange. For these purposes its hardness and dura- 
bility are increased by the addition of seven and a 
half to twenty-five per cent, of copper. Owing to 
the greatly increased production of recent years and 
to the ease with which it may be won, the market 
price of crude silver has fallen greatly. The United 
States coining value is at the rate of $1.293 an ounce, 
while the average market value in 1895 was only 65 
cents. An ounce of gold makes $20.67, so that at 
American coinage rates an ounce of gold is worth only 
sixteen of coin silver, but would purchase thirty -two 
on the market. In the following tables it is observ- 
able how the fall in the price of silver affected the 
production in Ontario. The annual production of the 
world is steadily increasing, although the total value 
is not so high as in 1890-93. Canada, which now 
ranks eleventh, will probably reach seventh place in 
the near future. 







$182 000 






British Columbia 





Total . . . 

$406 000 

$534 000 


$2 148 000 

Value per oz . . . 







1. Mexico $33,225,000 

2. United States 30,254,000 

3. Bolivia 13,500,000 

4. Australasia 13,039,000 

5. Germany 9,236,000 

6. Spain 4,849,000 

7. Peru 2,514,000 

8. France 2,026,000 

9. Chili 1,910,000 

10. Austria 1,186,000 

11. Canada 1,158,000 

12. Japan 1,154,000 

13. Italy 1,154,000 

14. Colombia 1,123,000 

15. Central America 1,049,000 

All others.. 1,371,536 

Total $118,748,546 

LITERATURE. Canadian Mining Manual, 1896. Quebec : 
Geol. Sur. IV. 1888 K. Ontario : Geol. Sur. III. 1887 H ; 
Min. Res. Ont., 1890. British Columbia : Geol. Sur. III. 
1887-88 R, IV. 1888-89 B: Rep. Min. of Mines, B.C., 1896, 
and Bull. No. 3. 


By far the most important source of lead is the 
sulfid galenite (PbS), which frequently bears eco- 
nomic amounts of silver. It occurs either in granular 
or cubical crystals of a lead-grey color and brilliant 
metallic lustre. Cerussite, the carbonate (PbCO 3 ), 
containing 77 per cent, of lead, is white or grey in 
color, and of high specific gravity. Both minerals 


easily yield a malleable bead of lead before the 
blowpipe. The sulfate, anglesite (PbS0 4 ), also occurs, 
generally as a surface product of galena. 

The ores of lead occur chiefly as mass deposits 
filling joints and irregular cavities in limestone. The 
lead has apparently been deposited with the sedi- 
ments, and afterwards been brought in solution from 
the neighboring rocks into the cavities. Of this 
character are the deposits of Missouri, Iowa and 
Wisconsin. In Nevada the ore is frequently found at 
the contact of limestone with some dissimilar rock. 
In the gash veins of the limestone zinc is frequently 
found with the lead, sometimes one, sometimes the 
other, predominating, and silver being generally 
absent. A second occurrence of galena is in veins 
cutting ancient crystalline formations, as in British 
Columbia. These ores are more frequently silver- 
bearing, and that they are largely mined is shown 
by the fact that three-fourths of the lead produced in 
the United States is desilverized. 

The great use of lead is in the manufacture of 
paint. Five-twelfths of the consumption of the 
United States in 1895 was used in the manufacture 
of white-lead. A considerable amount was also con- 
verted into litharge. Other uses are as leadpipe, shot, 
sheet lead, and in certain kinds of glass. Its alloys 
with tin, bismuth, antimony, are used as pewter, type 
and solder. 

Spain, the United States, Germany and Mexico 
are the largest producers, and the United States, 
Great Britain and Germany the largest consumers 


The total production of the world in 1894 was 
617,000 metric tons, valued at three and a quarter 
cents a pound. 

Canadian Localities and Production. Galena 
occurs at a number of places in Nova Scotia in 
connection with Carboniferous limestone. At Smith- 
field, Colchester county, considerable development 
has been done on a large argentiferous deposit, and 
in Gloucester and Carleton counties, New Brunswick, 
some exploratory work was performed. In Quebec a 
very promising property of silver-lead has been 
developed on Lake Temiscamingue, and a few tons of 
argentiferous galena have been mined at the mouth 
of the Little Whale River, on the east coast of 
Hudson Bay. In Ontario silver-lead ores have been 
worked in Frontenac and neighboring counties, 
at Garden River, north of Lake Huron, and south of 
Lake Nipigon. These ores occur in veins, cutting 
Archaean schists or Cambrian argillites. In none of 
them were the silver contents high enough to make 
the properties successful at the present low value of 
lead. In British Columbia there are many deposits 
of galena rich in silver, and it is to that province 
that nearly the whole output of the Dominion is to 
be credited. The producing mines are in the Koote- 
nay district, but many other promising localities are 







Pounds of ore 






$5 800 




unmanufactured . . 
Imports manufactured 




LITERATURE. (See under Silver. ) For British Columbia local- 
ities, see Geol. Sur. III. 1887-88, 155 R. Lake Temiscamingue : 
Geol. Sur. V. 1890-91, 90 S. 


The most common zinc mineral is popularly known 
as blende or black jack, though mineralogists call it 
sphalerite. The first and last names refer to its blind- 
ing and deceiving or treacherous character, because, 
while at times resembling galena, it yields no lead, 
and because it occurs in all the colors of the rainbow. 
It has a peculiar resinous lustre, is scratched without 
difficulty with a knife, and is infusible before a blow- 
pipe. In composition it is zinc sulfid, and when pure 
it contains 67 per cent, of zinc. The carbonate, smith- 
sonite, results from the weathering of the sulfid, and 
is dirty white or brownish. Calamine, a silicate, is 
another zinc mineral often mined. 

The ores of zinc closely resemble those of lead 
in their mode of occurrence and in their geological 
horizons, and often the two are intimately mixed. 
Blende, like galena, often carries silver, but it is more 


difficult to part the silver and zinc than the silver and 
lead. Argentiferous blende occurs in the Thunder Bay 
district of Ontario and in the Kootenay district of 
British Columbia, but there is no production. A 
deposit of blende in Huronian diorite, north of Lake 
Superior, was exploited for a time, but operations 
have ceased. Kansas, Wisconsin, Missouri and New 
Jersey are the zinc-producing regions of this conti- 
nent. Two-thirds of the ore of the world is mined 
in Germany ; Italy is the second producer, followed 
by the United States and France. All of the Italian 
ore is exported, and Belgium, using imported ores, 
ranks second as a producer of metallic zinc, Ger- 
many having the first position. The total production 
of the world for 1894 was 383,225 metric tons, of 
which Canada took $130,000 worth, mostly manu- 



Arsenic. This element is little used in the metallic 
state, and then only as an alloy, the chief of which is 
with lead. Shot is hardened by the mixture of about 
forty pounds of arsenic with a ton of lead. Its most 
important use is in the manufacture of colors, particu- 
larly greens. Paris green is a commercial name for 
several chemical compounds used as colors, and also 
as insecticides. A small amount of the metal is used 
in making certain kinds of glass and in fireworks. 

Arsenic is widely distributed in nature, occurring 
usually as a double sulfid and arsenid of iron, nickel 
or copper. Mispickel, or arsenopyrite (FeAsS) the 
chief mineral, is hard, brittle, silver- white, and gives 
a garlic odor when heated. Considerable deposits of 
it occur in Hastings county, Ontario, where it has 
been mined for the gold it contains. The output is, 
however, very irregular, in 1885 the product being 
valued at over $17,000, and in 1895 at nothing. 
Commercial arsenic has sold for some years at about 
four cents a pound, but in 1895 the price advanced to 
nine cents, and even at that figure it does not pay to 
produce the metal, except as a by-product. Cornwall 


and Devon, England, and Freiberg, Germany, supply 
the market with 7,000 to 9,000 tons a year. Canada 
imported in 1895 nearly 600 tons, valued at $32,000. 

Antimony. This metal frequently occurs as a min- 
eralizing agent with ores of silver. The chief source 
is, however, the sulfid stibnite (Sb 2 S 3 ), a soft lead-grey 
easily fusible mineral. It is recognized by the white 
fumes and odor of burning sulfur which it gives when 
heated with a blowpipe. 

Stibnite has been mined at Rawdon, in Hants 
county, N.S., where in a gangue of quartz and calcite 
it occurs in a vein cutting Cambrian slates. The ore 
is of good quality, and in places is auriferous. At 
Prince William, York county, N.B., there are numer- 
ous large well-defined veins carrying quartz and stib- 
nite in Cambro-Silurian slates. Several mining com- 
panies have operated there, reducing the ore in part 
and shipping the remainder to Massachusetts, where 
it was used in the manufacture of rubber. Ores of 
antimony have also been mined in South Ham, Wolfe 
county, Que. None of these properties are now in 
operation, litigation and the continually decreasing 
value of the product having forced them to close. 
Antimony, which was worth fifteen cents a pound in 
1891, was quoted at seven cents in 1895. Antimony 
ores, probably in economic amounts, are reported from 
several localities in Ontario and British Columbia. In 
the latter province they are frequently argentiferous. 

France is the largest producer of antimony, and 
Italy, Japan and New South Wales contend for second 
place. In 1893 the total production of ore was 


15,000 tons, which would yield about 6,009 tons of 
antimony. In 1885 the Canadian product was 758 
tons ; in 1895 it was nothing. The imports in 1895 
were forty tons, valued at $6,000. The great use of 
antimony is as an alloy with lead in making type 

Tin. This is the only important metal of which 
no economic deposits occur in Canada, for, apart 
from a few mineralogical curiosities, it is unknown 
here. North America as a continent seems almost 
destitute of it, for in spite of very heavy protective 
duties the Americans have failed to develop any suc- 
cessful mines, though small amounts have been got in 
Dakota, California and Mexico. 

The oxid of tin, cassiterite, is the only ore. The 
mineral is brown to black in color, of brilliant lustre 
when in crystals, hard and heavy. It is infusible 
before the blowpipe on charcoal, but with soda can be 
reduced to minute malleable beads of tin. Tin ore 
occurs in two ways : First and most important is 
the " stream tin," which is simply a placer deposit like 
that of gold, and due to the same cause, i.e., to the 
weight of the mineral. These placer deposits are 
widely scattered over the world, but are comparatively 
rare. They are derived, of course, from veins which 
constitute the second class of deposits. Here the ore 
is disseminated in bunches and grains in the veins and 
in the ancient crystalline rocks, which they cut. 
Cornwall, England, is the most famous tin region of 
the world, though the original placers are exhausted 
and the veins themselves are not so productive as 


formerly. The ore is frequently found in a peculiar 
granite rock called greisen, which lacks felspar. 
Pyrite, chalcopyrite, blende, tourmaline, wolfram, 
topaz are often associated with the tin ore. Consider- 
ing the immense granite areas in Canada, it would 
seem probable that tin will yet be discovered here. 

The great use of tin is as a coating for iron in the 
manufacture of tin-plate. Small amounts are used in 
alloys, such as bronze, bell-metal and solder. In 1895 
the production was about 80,000 long tons, of which 
63,000 came from the Malay peninsula, and England, 
Tasmania and Bolivia produced nearly all the remain- 
der. In 1895 the average price was fourteen cents a 
pound. Canadian imports average over one million 
dollars a year. 

Aluminum is the most abundant metal in the earth's 
crust, and the third element in amount. It is found 
in hundreds of minerals, chiefly complex silicates like 
garnet, felspar and mica. Ordinary clay is a hydrous 
silicate of aluminum which, when pure, contains 21 
per cent, of the metal. Notwithstanding the great 
number of minerals and their wide distribution, the 
ores of aluminum are very few. In most cases the 
chemical combination is too strong for profitable 
separation with our present methods. Corundum, 
the oxid, might be used, but it is too valuable as an 
abrasive to be employed as a source of the metal. 
Cryolite, a sodium aluminum fluorid, was until 
recently the chief source, the mineral being brought 
from Greenland. Bauxite, the mineral used at the 
present time, is a hydrated oxid of aluminum with 


iron replacing part of that metal. Silica, phosphoric 
acid, lime, and magnesia, are common impurities. In 
composition and mode of occurrence it resembles 
limonite. The mineral is white, yellow or red, soft 
and granular. It occurs in large amounts in France, 
Italy, Ireland, Georgia and Alabama, but is not yet 
known in Canada. 

Bauxite is treated chemically and changed into the 
oxid of the metal (A1 2 3 ), and this is reduced by a 
powerful electric current in a bath of molten cryolite. 
Only two companies are at present producers. One 
has works at Niagara Falls and Pittsburg, the other 
in Switzerland and France. The product in 1895 was 
nearly 1,300 tons, valued at 50 cents a pound. The 
demand for this metal will increase enormously once 
it can be marketed as cheaply as copper or zinc. In 
1886 the price was $12.00 ; in 1892 it had fallen to 50 
cents, and that seems to be the limit for the present. 

Mercury. The only ore of mercury is cinnabar, 
the sulfid (HgS), which contains when pure, about 
87 per cent, of the metal. The mineral is bright red or 
brownish-red in color, is of high specific gravity, and 
is easily vaporized before the blowpipe. Often specks 
of the bright metal are scattered through the red 
mineral. It is found as an impregnation of various 
rocks which have been shattered and fissured by 
eruptive rocks, which are always found near at hand. 

There are three important regions: Spain, where 
the cinnabar impregnates a sandstone of Silurian age ; 
California, where the deposits are of Cretaceous and 
Tertiary age, and Austria, where the ore occurs in 


nearly vertical strata of Triassic age. The mineral 
seems to be the result of volcanic action, which has 
vaporized mercury, sulfur and steam at some distance 
below the surface. These vapors have then forced 
their way up through the shattered superincumbent 
rocks, and on cooling the mercury and sulfur have 
been united and deposited. 

Around Kamloops Lake, British Columbia, a num- 
ber of veins have been found in volcanic rocks of 
Tertiary age. Exploratory work has yielded good 
results, and a continuous output is promised. 

The great use of mercury is in the recovery of gold 
and silver by the amalgamation process. As, how- 
ever, the quicksilver can be used over and over, the 
market does not increase rapidly. Another important 
use is in the manufacture of vermilion paint. Small 
amounts are used in making mirrors, thermometers, 
barometers and medicinal compounds. The output 
in 1894 was 3,952 metric tons, of which two-fifths 
came from Spain and one-quarter from the United 
States, the remainder being furnished by Austria, Italy, 
Mexico and Russia. 

LITERATURE. Arsenic: Roth well, "Mineral Industry," 
1895 ; Min. Resources of Ontario, 1890 ; Bur. Mines, Ontario, 
1893. Antimony: " Mineral Industry, " 1895. Tin: "Min. 
Indus.," 1895; Louis and Phillips, "Ore Deposits." Alumi- 
num: Richards, "Aluminum," 1890; "Min. Industry," 1892. 
Mercury: "Min. Industry," 1895; Rep. Min. Mines, B.C., 






Occurrence. Common salt, so important to the 
welfare of the human race, is widely distributed, few 
countries being unable to supply themselves in case 
of need. Not only is the geographical distribution 
of large extent, but the geological horizons in which 
it is found are very numerous. Upper Silurian beds 
are found in Ontario and New York ; Devonian ones 
in Manitoba and Athabasca; Lower Carboniferous 
salt springs are found in Cape Breton and New 
Brunswick, and beds of the same period in Michigan 
furnish much of the salt of the United States; 
Permian beds are found in Texas, and the famous 
deposit of Stassfurt, Germany, was laid down in the 
same period ; in the Triassic beds are found the 
deposits of Kansas and Cheshire, England, and some 
salt springs on Vancouver Island come from the Cre- 
taceous just above ; in Tertiary times were deposited 


the great salt beds at Wieliczka, Austria, and some 
smaller ones in Louisiana. Even in historic times 
deposits have been formed in the arid regions of the 
west of North America. 

Salt, known to mineralogists as halite, occurs in 
nature either in solid masses, known as rock salt, or 
in solution in water The solutions, or brines, are 
found (1) in oceans or salt lakes, (2) in salt springs, 
(3) in porous rocks, held in by impervious beds above 
and below. On drilling a hole through the upper 
retaining bed the third class may become the second. 

Neither the rock salt nor the brines are pure as 
they occur in nature. The most common impurities 
are the sulfates of calcium, magnesium and sodium, 
the chlorids of calcium, magnesium and potassium, 
and the carbonates of calcium, magnesium and iron ; 
clay, also, is found quite frequently in rock salt. The 
amount of the impurities is variable, but usually in 
salts of commercial value it is quite small. The fol- 
lowing analyses show the composition of two standard 
natural salts : 

Goderich, Ont. Cheshire, Eng. 

Sodium chlorid, or salt 99. 687 96. 70 

Calcium chlorid 032 .68 

Magnesium chlorid .095 .... 

Calcium sulfate 090 .25 

Insoluble in water 017 1.74 

Moisture 079 .63 

100.000 100.00 
Total impurity 234 2.67 


Origin. The sea has probably been salty since the 
time when the cooling earth first allowed the clouds 
of vapor to condense upon its surface. The hot, 
primeval ocean, under greater pressure than now, 
must have been a powerful solvent. No doubt its 
saltiness has been increased since then by the 
incessant and large contributions of every stream. 
Running water, as it percolates through our soils, 
dissolves out here and there grains of salt and 
gypsum and limestone, and hurries off with them to 
the ocean. The St. Lawrence, as it leaves Lake 
Ontario, carries one and a half tons of mineral 
matter every second to be deposited in the ocean 
and make it saltier. About 3.5 per cent, of ocean 
water consists of solids, of which common salt 
makes 2.7 per cent. ; other constituents are magne- 
sium chlorid, 0.4 per cent. ; magnesium sulfate, 0.2 per 
cent., and twenty- three other elements. 

Through changes of level and other causes, oceanic 
waters have been at times confined in lagoons, where, 
as evaporation went on, the calcium sulfate was first 
deposited as gypsum, and later, with greater con- 
centration, the sodium chlorid was precipitated. 
Mixed with these were frequently marls and clays 
derived from erosion of the neighboring land. Last 
of all came the deposition of the potassium and 
magnesium salts as shown by the beds of Stassfurt, 
Germany. In many cases, however, the sea seems to 
have overleaped the boundary at intervals and fur- 
nished fresh solutions for second and third deposits. 
Only in a few cases have the more soluble salts of 


potassium and magnesium been deposited as at Stass- 
furt. The following section at Goderich, Ontario, 
shows six distinct beds of salt with intervening beds 
of marine-formed dolomites and marls : 

Beginning at the Surface. Feet. 

Clay, gravel and boulders 79 

Dolomite and limestone 797 

Variegated marls with beds of dolomite. ... 121 

Rock salt, first bed 31 

Dolomite with marls toward base 32 

Rock salt, second bed 25 

Dolomite 7 

Rock salt, third bed 35 

Marls with dolomite and anhydrite 81 

Rock salt, fourth bed 15 

Dolomite and anhydrite 7 

Rock salt, fifth bed 14 

Marls, soft, with anhydrite 135 

Rock salt, sixth bed 6 

Marls, dolomite, and anhydrite 132 


A total of 126 feet of rock salt. 

In regions of great evaporation salt lakes are fre- 
quently found. Streams carry soluble salts from the 
land, and if the water is removed only by evapora- 
tion the closed basin becomes gradually saltier. The 
Great Salt Lake of Utah and the Dead Sea may thus 
ultimately become beds of rock salt. Salt springs are 
but mineral waters particularly rich in sodium chlorid, 
which derive their salts either from subterranean 
masses or from salts disseminated through clays and 


marls. These brines frequently collect in porous rocks 
and are often associated with petroleum and gas. In 
the opinion of Hunt the saline springs of the Palseozoic 
rocks of Ontario and Quebec derive their ingredients 
from the sea water held in the interstices of the 
marine sediments of the period. 

Canadian Localities. A number of salt springs 
arise from the Lower Carboniferous rocks of Nova 
Scotia and New Brunswick, but the proportion of 
salt is too small to be of economic value. About five 
hundred bushels are made annually at Sussex, N.B., 
which is used locally for table and dairy purposes. 

In a belt of country ten to fifteen miles wide, and 
extending from the Niagara River to Southampton, 
Ont., rocks of the Onondaga period of the Upper 
Silurian form the outcrop, and these are overlaid to 
the south-west by Devonian strata. At numerous 
wells sunk through these overlying rocks for 1,000 
to 2,000 feet, beds of salt have been found. The 
record of a boring for a Goderich well, given above, 
is typical. At first the salt was supposed to be 
confined to a limited area near Lake Huron, but it 
is now known to extend south through parts of Mid- 
dlesex, Kent and Essex counties, as well as under 
South Bruce, Huron and Lamb ton. At Kincardine 
the salt bed is found 888 feet below the surface ; to 
the south the depth increases, being 1,170 feet at 
Clinton and 1,620 at Courtright. Farther south, at 
Windsor, the upper salt bed rises to 1,272 feet. Salt 
from the same horizon is found across Lake Huron 
at St. Clair and Saginaw, but the brines which are 


evaporated at the latter place come from a higher 
horizon, that of the Lower Carboniferous. 

The quantity of salt is inexhaustible. At Goderich 
the six beds aggregate 126 feet of solid salt, to say 
nothing of the quantity distributed through the 
marls. At Blyth a bed eighty feet thick is found ; at 
Petrolia, one 105 feet thick ; at Windsor the well is 
seventy-nine feet into the second bed without piercing 
it. All the beds are not of equal purity ; the second 
and third at Goderich are among the purest known, 
yielding on analysis 99.7 per cent, of salt. 

Numerous salt springs are found in the Devonian 
area to the west of Lake Winnipegosis, but no beds 
of rock salt have been discovered. These brines, 
though weak, have been used in the past as a source 
of salt. The process of manufacture as carried on by 
the Hudson's Bay Company was crude in the extreme. 
A hole five or six feet deep was made in the soil, and 
from this the water was ladled into kettles near at 
hand. From these the salt was scooped as it formed, 
and after draining for a short time was packed in 
birch bark for shipment. Farther to the north, along 
the Athabasca, similar springs are found, and have 
been used by the same company. 

Manufacture. Throughout the Goderich region 
the water that finds its way downward on the out- 
side of the pipes which are sunk, forms an almost 
saturated solution, which is pumped to the surface and 
evaporated. A saturated brine contains 25.7 per cent, 
of salt ; the brines of Ontario, twenty to twenty-four 
per cent., in which respect Canadian manufacturers 


have a great advantage, those of Syracuse, N.Y., con- 
taining only eighteen to twenty per cent. In some 
cases water is forced down between an inner and an 
outer pipe and drawn up through the inner. 

Evaporation of the brines is accomplished either by 
artificial heat, or by solar heat, or by congelation. 
Solar evaporation of ocean water is also practised 
in California, Scotland, etc. Congelation is practised 
in Norway. The ice which forms on a solution of salt 
consists of nearly pure water, and by repeated removal 
of the frozen surface a stronger brine is gradually 
obtained. In Ontario the brine is usually evaporated 
by artificial heat in iron pans one hundred to two 
hundred feet long and twenty-five wide. 

Uses. The chief use of salt is in seasoning and pre- 
serving foods, and as this depends on population there 
can be but a slow increase in production in Canada. 
Moreover, salt for use in the fisheries is imported free 
of duty, and as vesselmen carry it westward for almost 
nothing (it saves ballast), English salt can be sold in 
Montreal as cheaply as Canadian. Salt is, further, 
the basis of many important chemical industries, 
caustic soda, sodium carbonate, hydrochloric acid and 
bleaching powder being all derived from it. A small 
amount is used as a fertilizer and in the reduction of 
ores of silver. 





Production tons . . ... 






Exports . 



Imports paying duty tons 



" " " value 

$39 O 1 


Imports duty free tons 



" " " value 



LITERATURE. Geological occurrence in Ont., Reports Geol. 
Sur., 1863-66, 1866, 1874-75, 1876-77; Occurrence, etc., in Man., 
Geol. Sur., V. 1890, pp. 219-224 E. Statistics, Geol. Sur. Rep. 
S ; Min. Resources of Ont., 1890. 


Gypsum (CaS0 4 + 2aq) is a soft mineral consisting 
of sulfate of calcium and water. It is usually white 
or grey in color, but may be red, brown, or black, if 
impure. It occurs at times in distinct plates, clear 
and transparent ; again in fibres with a pearly lustre, 
giving rise to the name satin spar ; more usually it is 
a massive, dull-colored rock, a fine-grained variety of 
which is known as alabaster. 

Gypsum often forms extensive beds in stratified 
rocks, especially in limestones and calcareous shales, 
and occurs in all formations from the Silurian up- 
wards. In Canada it is found in the Lower Silurian of 
Quebec, in the Onondaga division of the Upper 
Silurian in Ontario, and in the Lower Carboniferous 


of the Maritime Provinces. Large deposits were made 
in Triassic time in the western United States, and in 
Eocene time in Europe. 

Canadian Localities. Gypsum occurs in immense 
beds through the Lower Carboniferous strata of 
northern Nova Scotia. In Cumberland it outcrops 
along a line from Minudie to Wallace, particularly at 
Napan River and Pugwash. It is much more 
abundant in Hants and Colchester, particularly the 
former. Near Windsor there is found a " long range 
of cliffs of snowy whiteness," which, however, contain 
much anhydrite as well as gypsum. It is quarried for 
export at Windsor, Cheverie, Walton, Stewiacke and 
other places, with shipping facilities. The deposit is 
inexhaustible ; the amount quarried is only limited by 
the demand. In Pictou a bed of economic value exists 
on the East River, but too far from navigation. 
Eastward the beds are found in Antigonish, where a 
cliff of gypsum, white and red, 200 feet in height, 
fronts the ocean. At Plaister Cove across the strait 
an enormous bed is found, two-thirds of which, how- 
ever, is anhydrite. It is also found in Inverness, 
Victoria and Cape Breton counties. Nearly the whole 
product of Nova Scotia is shipped in the crude form 
to the eastern United States. 

Gypsum, according to Dawson, " is a very abundant 
mineral in New Brunswick, the deposits being 
numerous, large, and in general of great purity. They 
occur in all parts of the Lower Carboniferous district, 
in Kings, Albert, Westmoreland and Victoria, 
especially in the vicinity of Sussex, in Upham, on the 


North River in Westmoreland, at Martin Head on the 
Bay shore, on the Tobique River in cliffs over 100 feet 
high, and about the Albert Mines. At the last-named 
locality the mineral has been extensively quarried 
from beds about sixty feet in thickness, and calcined 
in large works at Hillsborough." At present the 
mineral is shipped from Albert and Victoria counties, 
most of it going in a crude condition to the United 
States and selling at about 90 cents a ton. 

In the valley of the Grand River from near Cayuga 
to Paris, Ontario, for a distance of forty miles, gypsum 
frequently outcrops. The beds are lenticular in 
shape, the greatest diameter being about a quarter of 
a mile, and the thickness three to seven feet at the 
maximum, and nothing at the edges of the lenses. 
The beds are horizontal and are capped by thin bands 
of limestone and the drift, or by the latter alone, 
which gives the country a hummocky appearance. 
Some parts of the gypsum are grey, others white, 
the latter being purer and usually at the top. A 
large number of mines have been opened. Usually 
a level is run in from the valley of the river and the 
mineral brought out on a car. It is ground for land 
plaster and calcined to make plaster of Paris. The 
former finds a market in south-western Ontario ; the 
latter, under the trade names of " Adamant Wall 
Plaster," " Alabastine," " Plastico," is sold throughout 
the Dominion. These deposits are found in the 
Onondaga formation of the Upper Silurian, which has 
been described earlier in the chapter as salt-bearing. 
It outcrops between Lakes Erie and Huron for a dis- 


tance of 150 miles, and the gypsum-bearing area may 
yet be considerably extended. 

Along the Moose River for a distance of seven 
miles banks of gypsum ten to twenty feet high have 
been found. Apparently these beds are Devonian. 
The deposit is, of course, too far away to be of any 
value. Gypsum is so widely distributed on this con- 
tinent, and in such large amounts, that it cannot be 
shipped with profit to any long distance. 

In northern Manitoba two beds, respectively twenty- 
two and ten feet in thickness, have been reported, and 
farther to the north-west along the Mackenzie River 
it has been found. On the Salmon River, British 
Columbia, it also occurs in economic amounts, but at 
none of these localities is it mined. 

Origin. A number of theories have been advanced 
to account for the great beds of gypsum. The one 
most commonly accepted is that given above in con- 
nection with the origin of the salt beds, viz., the 
evaporation in closed arms of the sea of salt water. 
Sediment would be deposited first, then gypsum ; and 
as evaporation continued, salt would be precipitated. 
This is the normal order the world over, but every 
gypsum deposit has not of necessity an overlying salt 
bed, as evaporation frequently was not continued 
long enough; and in other cases water afterwards 
dissolved and carried off the salt which had been 
formed. Hunt has extended this theory somewhat. 
He holds that the sulfate of calcium in the sea water 
is due to a chemical reaction between bicarbonate of 
calcium and sulfate of magnesium, two soluble salts 


brought down from the land. Evaporation would 
cause the precipitation of gypsum followed by a 
hydrous carbonate of magnesium. If a calcium car- 
bonate were also precipitated, it would mix with the 
magnesium salt, and on being slightly heated yield 
dolomite. Dana has supposed that the gypsum of 
Ontario and New York is due to the action of sulf uric 
acid springs on limestone, and that this might account 
for the mound-like appearance. Logan, however 
(Geol. Can., 1863, p. 352), thinks that the gypsum was 
formed at the same time as the shales that overlie it, 
and that the mounds are due to the removal of softer 
parts of the shales. Another theory which accounts 
for the mound-like deposits is that of hydration. 
Anhydrite (CaS0 4 ), which is gypsum without its 
water crystallization, is found in many sedimentary 
deposits, and as it is capable of taking up 25 per cent, 
of its weight of water, and of forming gypsum, but 
in doing so swells considerably, this would account 
for the dome-like masses. Dawson adopts the sul- 
furic acid theory to account for the immense deposits 
of Nova Scotia. He assumes that the acid given off 
by volcanoes found its way along the bed of the ocean, 
until it met with beds of calcareous matter which it 
changed into gypsum, and this agrees with the fact 
that gypsum is only found associated with marine 

Uses. Gypsum, ground to a fine powder, is used as 

a fertilizer. It is also ground and heated, when it 

loses its water of crystallization and becomes plaster 

of Paris. This substance has the valuable property 



of taking up the water again and hardening, so that 
it is used to form moulds, models and cornices. 
Tinted with proper materials it forms a beautiful 
decorative finish for walls, cheaper forms being even 
used as common wall plaster. The World's Fair 
buildings at Chicago owed their beauty to a white 
coating of stucco made from gypsum. Fine, granular, 
semi-transparent varieties known as alabaster are 
carved into ornaments 


Tons. Value. 


Nova Scotia 168,000 $148,000 

New Brunswick 53,000 48,000 

Ontario 2,300 6,200 

Total 223,300 $202,200 

Exports 160,000 158,000 

Imports, crude and manufactured .... 4,200 

LITERATURE. Localities : Nova Scotia and New Brunswick 
Dawson, " Acad. Geol." ; Ontario Geol. Can., 1863; Min. 
Resources Ontario, 1890 ; Bur. Mines, 1891. Manitoba 
Can. Rec. Sci., III. 353, 1889. North-West Territories Geol. 
Sur., 1888, 30 D, 101 D. British Columbia Geol. Sur., 1889, 
42 S. Origin: Hunt, " Chem. and Geol. Essays," 1875, 
Chap. VIII. ; Dawson, "Acad. Geol.," 1878, p. 262; Dana, 
4 'Geol.," 1895, p. 554. Production: Rep. S of Geol. Sur. Can. 


Barite (BaS0 4 ) is connected chemically with gypsum 
and may be considered here. It is also known as 
barytes and as heavy spar. It is a common vein-stone 
especially with lead and zinc ores, and in Nova Scotia 


with iron ores. It also occurs as veins or pockets in 
limestone and sandstone, and these latter deposits are 
of greater commercial value since they are purer. It 
is widely distributed in Canada but only mined in a 
desultory way. At a number of points in Pictou and 
Colchester counties, N.S., as Hodson, Brookfield, Five 
Islands, it has been mined and exported, but the total 
production has been only a few thousand tons. A 
vein three feet wide at Hull, Que , is the source of a 
few tons of material used in Toronto. On McKellar's 
Island, Lake Superior there is a deposit of quartz, 
calcite and barite sixty feet in width. It is only 
mined intermittently, though one of the best deposits 
ever found. 

The chief use of barite is as a pigment ; for this 
purpose it is usually mixed with white lead, which it 
closely resembles in color and weight. By some it is 
considered an adulterant, though others claim that it 
gives greater body to the paint and that the mixture 
resists the action of the weather better than pure 
lead. Barite should be free from quartz grains and 
iron stains, though the latter may be removed by boil- 
ing with sulfuric acid. In 1894 the shipments were 
1,080 tons, valued at $2,830. 


APATITE (Gr. anari, deception) occurs in green, red, 
blue, white, and even black crystals or crystalline 
masses, the former being hexagonal in outline and 
frequently of large size, one from Buckingham, Que., 
weighing 550 pounds and being seventy- two and a 
half inches in circumference. Apatite is mainly cal- 
cium phosphate, its composition being represented 
by the formula, 3Ca 3 2P0 4 + CaF 2 , though fluorin 
may be replaced by chlorin. An average of seven 
Canadian apatites, analyzed by Hoffman, shows cal- 
cium phosphate, 87.4 per cent.; calcium fluorid, 7.4 per 
cent.; calcium chlorid, 3.9 per cent.; calcium carbonate, 
0.7 per cent. 

Distribution, Apatite is widely distributed, few 
igneous and metamorphic rocks being destitute of it, 
but the quantity is, in most cases, insignificant. The 
mineral in economic amounts has been found only in 
Canada, Norway and Spain, and there in the older 
rocks. In Canada it is found in two localities. One, in 
Ontario, stretches from a few miles north of Kingston 
one hundred miles in a northerly direction, and is fifty 
to seventy -five miles in width. The other, in Quebec, 
extends northward from Hull about sixty miles, and 


is fifteen or twenty miles in breadth. The latter, 
though smaller in area, has much richer deposits, and 
the chief mining operations centre there. 

Occurrence. In both districts the country rocks 
are gneisses and related rocks belonging to the upper 
part of the Lower Laurentian. For the most part 
they occur in belts with a north-east and south-west 
trend. Intrusive masses of pyroxenite occur in the 
country rock, the dikes sometimes running with the 
strike, at other times across it. As there are very 
seldom sharply defined walls, the pyroxene and gneiss 
shading into one another, some authors have held the 
pyroxenite to be a metamorphosed bed, but as the 
masses of pyroxene sometimes cut across the gneiss, 
this cannot be the case. The gneiss is frequently 
indistinctly stratified and often quite massive, and 
is usually more hornblendic in Ontario than in 
Quebec. The apatite deposits are usually found 
either in the pyroxenic or hornblendic rocks or quite 
near them. Sometimes the mineral is found in 
well-defined veins, but more usually it is in irregular 
masses throughout the pyroxenic rock, in some 
places apatite predominating, in others pyroxene, or 
mica, or felspar. The "pockets" vary from a frac- 
tion of an inch to many feet in diameter, and while 
there is a vast quantity of waste rock to be mined, it 
has been pretty well established that the deposits are 
continuous. Associated with the apatite are a large 
number of minerals, about thirty in all. Zircons, 
sphenes, scapolites and micas are found in almost 
unequalled size and perfection. 


Origin. Many diverse views are held concerning 
the origin of the Canadian apatites. Sir W. Dawson 
and others believe in an organic origin, and suppose 
that coprolites and phosphatic nodules of the original 
sediments have undergone metamorphism along with 
the muds and sands which held them, and so account 
for the bedded character of many of the deposits. 
Veins have probably been formed in some cases by 
subsequent segregation from these beds. Others hold 
that there is absolutely no evidence of organic origin. 
Selwyn, formerly director of the Geological Survey, 
asserts that " they are clearly connected for the most 
part with the basic eruptions of Archaean date." The 
same origin is held by the Norwegian geologists for 
the apatite deposits of their country, which are known 
to closely resemble those of Canada. The general 
view seems to be that the apatite and accompanying 
minerals have been segregated from the surrounding 
rocks into irregular masses without the existence of 
any true fissure. 

Production. Mining operations were begun in 
Ontario about 1850, but owing to the pockety charac- 
ter of the deposits were not vigorously prosecuted. 
Much of the ore was raised by the " contract system," 
farmers excavating pits a few feet deep, and, on 
exhausting a mass, opening another hole a little 
farther on. About 1871 extensive operations were 
undertaken in the Quebec district ; drills were used 
for locating the deposits, and work prosecuted in a 
more systematic manner than had been the case in 
Ontario. Owing to the irregularity of the deposits 


not more than 7 per cent, of the rock mined is 
apatite, but the mineral obtained is remarkably pure. 
The production is continually diminishing, as the 
following table shows : 

1880 13,060 tons. 

1885 28,969 

1890 31,753 

1891 23,588 n 

1892 11,932 H 

1893 8,198 

1894 6,861 

1895 1,822 

1896 570 i, 

A few hundred tons are made into superphosphates 
at Smith's Falls, Ont., and Capleton, Que., and con- 
sumed locally, the rest being exported. About nine- 
tenths of the product comes from Quebec. 

The principal market has been Great Britain, 
which, in 1891, imported 257,000 long tons of phos- 
phates, of which Canada supplied about 8 per cent. 
The Canadian mineral is being driven out by the 
cheaper phosphates from the southern United States. 
Along the Atlantic coast from New Jersey to Texas 
are clays and marls carrying irregular nodules of 
phosphatic material varying from a grain to a ton in 
weight. In South Carolina and Florida rich deposits 
are found which are cheaply worked. Similar de- 
posits are found in England, Belgium, France, Russia, 
and they are also reported as occurring in the Nio- 
brara formation of Manitoba. Other competing pro- 
ducts are guano, and basic slag derived from steel 


works using an iron ore containing phosphorus. For 
the use of soluble phosphates as fertilizers, see the 
chapter on Soils. 

LITERATURE. Reports of the Geol. Sur., 1847-94, particu- 
larly those of 1873-74, 1876-77, 1877-78, 1888-89, pp. 89-111 K, 
1890-91, pp. 153-161 S. For localities, see Min. Resources of 
Ontario, 1890, and pp. 108, 109 K Rep. Geol. Sur., 1888-89; 
"Bibliography," p. 110 K Rep. 1888-89, and Penrose, Bull. 
46, U.S. Geol. Sur. There is a full survey of the phosphate of 
lime deposits of the world in Penrose's work. For economic 
details of working, etc., see Wyatt, "Phosphates of America." 


Occurrence. On the failure of a profitable market 
for Canadian apatite, the producers of that mineral 
turned their attention to mica, which had until then 
been neglected. The old dumps of waste material 
were overhauled, the old workings re-examined, and 
new pits and trenches opened. Some phosphate is 
even mined now as a by-product of the mica industry. 

The mica-producing territory embraces the two 
phosphate districts of Ontario and Quebec, and also 
some other localities. Loughboro' and North Burgess 
townships in Ontario, and Ottawa county in Quebec, 
are the chief seats of the industry. Commercial mica 
is further found in the Ottawa valley and Chicoutimi 
county, Quebec, and in Hastings county, Ontario. 

Mica is found in very many kinds of rock, but 
usually in small flakes. Large plates are most com- 
monly found in coarse granite, which occurs some- 


times as dikes, sometimes without definite walls, as at 
the Smith and Lacey mine in Loughboro'. Here the 
most coarsely crystallized material has been excavated 
for a width of 15 feet to a depth of 130 feet. More 
frequently operations are confined to surface pits 
along the dike. The Villeneuve mine, Ottawa county, 
has a vein 140 feet wide, which is being worked to a 
width of 50 feet on the side of a hill. Here the 
felspar crystals are proving to be quite as valuable 
as the mica. Plates of the latter, measuring 30 x 22 
inches, have been got from this property, and one 
crystal weighing 281 pounds yielded $500 of mer- 
chantable mica. 

In mining care is taken to injure the mica crystals 
as little as possible by blasting. After being hoisted 
to the surface the mica is carried to the " stripping " 
room, where pieces of quartz, felspar, etc., are re- 
moved. Then in the " mica shop " it is split by 
knives to the required thickness, and afterward cut 
into standard shapes, which are put up in pound 
packages for shipment. There is great waste in cut- 
ting, one hundred pounds not yielding on the average 
more than ten of commercial mica. 

The value of mica varies greatly, depending on the 
kind of mica and the size of sheet. For instance, the 
price list of the Villeneuve Mine, as cited by Obalski, 
quotes mica, 2x2 inches, at 50c. a pound, 4 x 4 at 
$9.10, 7 xo at $14.50. But this is for the white or 
muscovite mica. The amber-colored phlogopite and 
the dark biotite are not nearly so valuable. Rough, 
untrirnmed mica, large enough to cut 1x3, is sold 


as low as 6c. a pound, and 4 x 6 at 60c. in ton lots. 
All three of these micas are silicates of aluminum 
with varying amounts of potassium, magnesium and 

Use and Production. From the fact that mica 
is transparent to light and is not broken by heat or 
concussion it finds employment in stove panels, win- 
dows of men-of-war, eye-guards for foundry-men, etc. 
A recent use is as an insulator in electric machinery. 
For this it must be flexible, of uniform thickness and 
without small mineral crystals which conduct elec- 
tricity, and for this purpose the dark varieties are as 
valuable as the light. Ground mica is used in making 
paint, as a boiler and pipe covering to prevent 
loss of heat, as a lubricant for heavy machinery, and 
for decorative effect in wall paper. 

Canada, India, and the United States are the only 
producers. The amount mined in the last named 
country is decreasing, though the amount consumed is 
increasing. The production of Canada for 1895 was 
1,000, that of the United States $38,000. 

LITERATURE. Min. Resources Ont., 1890; Rep. Geol. Sur., 
1894, 73 S. 



" ONE of nature's most marvellous productions, 
asbestos is a physical paradox. It has been called a 
mineralogical vegetable ; it is both fibrous and crys- 
talline, elastic yet brittle ; a floating stone, which can 
be as readily carded, spun, and woven into tissue as 
cotton or the finest silk." In Germany it is known as 
steinflachs (stone flax), and the miners of Quebec give 
it quite as expressive a name, pierre a colon (cotton 

The commercial substance includes a number of dis- 
tinct minerals which are alike in being fibrous. The 
true asbestos of mineralogists embraces the fine 
fibrous forms of hornblende. The coarser fibres are 
known as tremolite or actinolite. All three consist of 
lime, magnesia and silica without water. The softer, 
silkier, and more flexible mineral which constitutes 
most of the commercial substance is chrysotile, a 
fibrous variety of serpentine, and chemically a hydrous 
magnesium silicate. Talc, steatite, or soapstone, also 
occurs in a fibrous, as well as in the usual massive 
form, and is very similar to chrysotile in composition 
and properties. The following table of approximate 
analyses will make these relations clear : 










Magnesia .... 
Iron oxid .... 










Quebec Asbestos Mines. These mines, the most 
important source of asbestos known, yield 85 per cent, 
of the world's product, the only competing country 
being Italy, where the industry is declining. The 
asbestos is found in veins half an inch to six inches 
wide in masses of serpentine. The fibres are always 
at right angles to the sides of the veins, which are 
most irregularly distributed in the serpentine, cutting 
it in all directions and being badly faulted. The 
serpentine is associated with diorites which have 
been erupted through slates, or occasionally sand- 
stones, of Lower Cambrian age. These serpentines 
extend from the Vermont boundary in a north-east 
direction almost to the extremity of Gaspe, and in 
three regions they have been found to contain asbes- 
tos. The first is near Mt. Albert in the Shickshock 
Mountains, where the mineral has not yet been found 
in economical amounts. The second is in Thetford 
and Coleraine, Megan tic county ; and the third dis- 
trict stretches from Danville through Orford and 
Bolton to the boundary. 

Active mining is confined to the second district, and 
to Danville in the third. In the mines, which are in 
reality large open quarries, the serpentine is loosened 


by blasting, hoisted to the surface, broken up, the 
refuse thrown on the dump, and the blocks bearing 
asbestos carried to the dressing or cobbing house. 
Here boys, with light hammers, separate the rock 
from the mineral and sort it into grades. At some 
mines elaborate machinery has been introduced for 
this purpose. The first grade contains the fibre over 
half an inch long well freed from rock. The " seconds " 
are poorer qualities of fibre, and the refuse makes 
" thirds." At the Thetford mines fifty to seventy per 
cent, of the output grades as "firsts," but at Black 
Lake the percentage is not so high. The intrusion of 
dikes of granite at the latter place seems to have caused 
sufficient heat to render parts of the asbestos harsher 
and less flexible. " Firsts " used to have a value of 
$125 to $150 a ton, and selected mineral even brought 
$250, but in 1895 $70 was an average price for " firsts." 

The asbestos is derived directly from the serpentine 
in which it is found, and the latter is doubtless an 
alteration product of diorites rich in olivine. After the 
serpentines were fissured the veins were filled with 
material dissolved from the sides, and the crystals are 
accordingly always perpendicular to the walls. 

In Ottawa county serpentine has been found in 
reticulated bands of varying widths in limestone of 
Laurentian age. In places it carries asbestos of good 
quality, from which a few tons have been brought as 
a test. Chrysotile has also been found in Hastings 
county, Ontario, and in the Fraser River valley, 
British Columbia. 

Uses. Chrysotile is flexible, non-combustible, and 
a non-conductor of heat and electricity, and on these 


properties its increasing use depends. It is spun into 
yarn, from which cloth is woven for drop-curtains in 
theatres, clothing for firemen, acid workers, etc. It 
is made into lamp-wicks, and gloves for stokers, and 
ropes for fire-escapes. It is felted into mill-board to 
be used as an insulator in dynamos, and as a fire- 
proof lining for floors. It is used to insulate electric 
wires, and as a covering to prevent loss of heat from 
steam pipes. It is a component of fire-proof paints 
and cements, and mixed with rubber it is used to pack 
steam joints. Indeed, one wonders how we ever did 
without it. Although Charlemagne is said to have 
had a table-cloth of asbestos which he was accustomed 
to cleanse by throwing in the fire, it was practically- 
unknown until 1850. The Italian mineral was then 
experimented with, and some years later put on the 
market. In 1878 the first Canadian mine was 
opened, and the product steadily increased until 1890, 
when 9,860 tons, worth $1,260,000, were mined. 
There has since been a decline in value, the amount 
for 1896 being 12,200 tons, worth only $430,000. 
Little asbestos is manufactured in Canada, and conse- 
quently in 1894 we reimported goods to the value of 

LITERATURE. Geological Occurrence, Localities, etc. : Reports 
Geol. Sur. I. 1885, 62 J ; III. 1887, 106 K ; IV. 1888, 139 K ; 
V. 1890, 19 S ; VII. 1894, 81 J. Methods of Mining, Cost, etc. : 
Report Geol. Sur. V. 1890, 12 SS. History and Uses : Jones' 
"Asbestos, "1888. 

Actinolite. This mineral occurs in several town- 
ships in Hastings and Addington counties, Ontario, in a 
band of serpentine, and is quarried in small quantities 


and ground in a mill at Bridgewater. The ground 
material retains its fibrous and flaky character, and 
mixed with pitch makes a strong and durable roofing 
material. Most of the product is shipped to Chicago. 

Talc. This is a soft mineral, white to green in 
color and with a greasy feel, which occurs in fibres, 
in foliated masses, and massive. The last variety is 
also known as steatite, soapstone and potstone. Some 
of the Indian's pipestone is likewise talc. The mineral 
is widely distributed in metamorphic rocks, especially 
the massive variety. It is found in the serpentine belt 
of Quebec described above ; also in Hastings county, 
Ontario. Soapstone is unacted on by heat, and so is 
used to construct vessels exposed to high tempera- 
tures. Ground soapstone is used to fill paper, as paint, 
and as a lubricator. The compact mineral is used by 
tailors under the name of French chalk. Small 
quantities have been mined at Wolfestown, Quebec. 

The fibrous form of talc is much rarer and also 
more valuable. Bands of it have been found in 
Addington county, which are said to compare favor- 
ably with the famous deposits at Gouverneur, N.Y., 
the production at which place in 1895 was worth 
$665,000. The talc is ground very fine, but still does 
not lose its fibrous character, and is then used in place 
of clay to give body and weight to paper, for which 
purpose it is better adapted than soapstone. The 
fibrous talc is also used as an adulterant in some 
asbestos manufactures. About 470 tons of soapstone, 
worth $2,138, were mined in 1895. 

LITERATURE. Quebec : Geol. Sur. IV. 1888, 151 K. 
Ontario: Rep. Bur. Mines, 1893. 




IN all temperate and northern latitudes there are 
found areas of bog and swamp supporting a vigorous 
growth of moss. These mosses are mostly of the 
genus sphagnum, and characteristically grow upward 
as the lower parts die. Living in moist places as 
they do, these dead plants are immersed in water, 
and so preserved from rapid decomposition such as 
overtakes fallen forest trees. New vegetation spring- 
ing up above gradually increases the pressure, and 
a slow carbonization results. In this way is produced 
a bed of vegetable matter slightly carbonized, retain- 
ing its fibrous structure and containing considerable 
water. The composition of this peat, after removal 
of the water, is about 60 per cent, carbon, 6 per cent, 
hydrogen and 34 per cent, oxygen. For comparison, 
the composition may be expressed in this way : 

Peat Carbon, 100 Hydrogen, 10 Oxygen, 55 

Anthracite. "100 " 2.5 " 2 

Often layers of marl are found at the bottom of the 


peat, indicating that the deposit began in a fresh- 
water pond or lake, and that moss and rushes spread- 
ing out from the shores gradually filled up the basin. 
Successive layers are frequently found ; beginning 
with the fresh-water shells, a layer of peat containing 
the remains of rushes and flags succeeds ; then come 
layers containing mosses, and on top, after the bog is 
comparatively dry, heaths are associated with the 
sphagnums. Peat bogs grow upward at a rate vary- 
ing from one foot in five years to one foot in twenty- 
five years or more. 

Uses. These peat bogs cover wide areas in the Old 
World, and are there used extensively for fuel. About 
one-tenth of Ireland is said to be covered with these 
deposits, and large areas exist in the continental 
countries. As the Irish bogs which are worked con- 
tain from eighty-eight to ninety-one per cent, of 
water, it is of course necessary to remove this injuri- 
ous constituent. Three methods are available expo- 
sure to air and sun, artificial heat or pressure. The 
peasants use the first, the others are used on a larger 
scale. Even then ten to thirty per cent, of water is 
present in the prepared turf used for domestic pur- 
poses in Ireland. 

Peat is made into charcoal, of which it makes a 
useful variety. It is also distilled, yielding tar, oil, 
paraffin and illuminating gas. In New Brunswick 
and in Ontario companies are using peat to prepare 
" moss litter " as bedding for horses, etc. 

Canadian Localities. It would be useless to 


attempt an enumeration of all the peat districts of the 
Dominion, so many are found. In general, it may be 
said that Anticosti Island, the east side of the St. 
Lawrence valley, the plain between the Ottawa and 
St. Lawrence, and the basin of the Moose contain 
extensive areas. Peat as fuel is only valuable where 
a cheap supply of coal is not available. For this reason 
the beds of Ontario and Quebec may become of 
economic importance. In 1874-75 33,000 tons of 
peat were made in Quebec and used on the Grand 
Trunk railway. Analysis showed approximately 
water 16 per cent., volatile matter 53, fixed carbon 
24, and ash 7 for the manufactured article. 

For details of Canadian beds, processes of manu- 
facture, history of operations, consult Geol. of Can., 
1863; Rep. Geol. Sur. IV., K 1888; Bureau of Mines, 
Ont., 1891, 1892. 


Coal is not a mineral in the strict sense of the 
word, for it is without definite composition. It con- 
sists mainly of oxygenated hydrocarbons with some 
simple hydrocarbons and free carbon. It may be 
defined as a " fossil fuel of a black color and strong 
consistency, which, when heated in closed vessels, is 
converted into coke with the escape of volatile liquids 
and gases." These oily substances are hydrocarbons 
mostly of the paraffin series. The varieties of coal 
depend on (1) the kind and the amount of the volatile 
ingredients, and (2) on physical characters, as struc- 
ture, lustre, hardness, 


Three chief varieties are usually distinguished 
and some hundred sub -varieties have been named : 
Anthracite, with a specific gravity of 1.35 to 1.8, 
bright lustre, and choncoidal fracture, has three to six 
per cent, of volatile matter, and burns with a feeble 
flame of pale color, does not smoke, and does not 
soften on being heated. It passes gradually through 
semi-anthracites into the second variety, bituminous 
coal. This includes a number of sub- varieties, all of 
which burn with a smoky flame, and give off oils or 
tar on distillation. In specific gravity they range 
from 1.14 to 1.40, and the volatile constituents may 
be as much as 66 per cent. Included here are (a) the 
caki'ng coals, which soften on heating and are used to 
make coke ; (6) the non-caking or free-burning coals, 
used for heating ; (c) the cannel coals, particularly 
rich in hydrocarbons, and so of use in manufacturing 
coal gas. The third variety, called Lignite, has a 
specific gravity of 1.10 to 1.30, is usually dull brown 
in color, and frequently somewhat lamellar in struc- 
ture. It is non-caking, rich in volatile matter, and 
usually has a large amount of water. 

The following analyses compiled chiefly from the 
Geological Survey Reports will make the composition 
of the different varieties clearer. The results were 
obtained by fast coking. 





Moisture . 






Peat, air dried. 

Dismal Swamp, Va 


59. 3o 

6 58 

St. Hubert, Que 

Crow Nest Pass, B.C. 

Lignite . 

Souris River, Assa 
Swan River, Man 


Moose River, Ont 


Edmonton, N. Saskatchewan .... 
Wellington Mine, Vancouver .... 
Main seam Sydney C B 

Bituminous .... 
Bituminous . . . 
Bituminous . . . 
Bituminous . . . 
Bituminous . . . 
Bituminous . . . 
Bituminous . . . 
Bituminous . . . 
Bituminous . . . 
Anthracite .... 
Anthracite .... 
Anthracite .... 
Semi -anthracite 

Main seam, Joggins, N.S 
International Mine, Cape Breton. 
Average Cumberland Co., N.S. . . 
Average Vancouver Island 

Main seam, Pictou, N.S. . . . 
Crow Nest Pass, B.C 


Comox Union Mine, Vancouver 
Bow River Pass, Ala 

Giaham Island, B.C 

Mammoth vein, Pennsylvania .... 
Graham Island, B. C 

Bow River Pass, Ala 


The following table of ultimate analyses shows the amount 
of each element present : 

T3 . 



a a 








si <O 










Medicine Hat, Assa.. 







Lignitic coal . 

Belly River, Ala 



16.82 0.77 



Bituminous . . 

Old Man River, Ala . 



11.63 0.66 9.20 


Bituminous . . 





0.36 6.58 


Bituminous . . 

Crow Nest Pass, B.C. 







Anthracite . . 

South Wales 






Impurities in Coal. Carbon and hydrogen are 
the valuable constituents of coal. Nitrogen, oxygen 
and the mineral ingredients known as ash, are not 
deleterious except so far as they replace more valu- 
able elements. Hygroscopic water which, on burning 
the coal, must be converted into steam, lessens the 
heating value of the fuel. Sulfur and phosphorus 
burn to offensive gases and act injuriously on iron, 
so that coals containing them are not suitable for 
domestic or smelting purposes. 

The amount of ash in good coals varies from two to 
ten per cent. From the method of formation it is 
naturally somewhat larger in anthracite than in bitu- 
minous coal. In the best eoal it does not seem to be 
greater than the amount of ash in the plants from 
which it is derived; but fragments of shale are 
usually present and increase the amount. Silica, 
alumina, lime, iron, potash and soda are the chief 
constituents of the ash. 

Geological Occurrence. Coal occurs in beds 
interstratified with shales, sandstones, fire-clays and 
limestones, the seams varying from a fraction of an 
inch to many feet in thickness. The "Mammoth" 
vein of Pennsylvania reaches a maximum of 50 feet, 
and the chief seam at Pictou, N.S., is 38 feet in thick- 
ness. These thick seams are not, however, all coal, 
for there are frequent partings of bituminous shale. 
The following section slightly condensed from Daw- 
son's " Acadian Geology," shows the structure of the 
main seam at Pictou : 


Feet. Inches. 

1. Roof shale 3 

2. Coal with shaly bands 6^ 

3. Coal, laminated ; layers of mineral charcoal and 
bright coal ; band of ironstone balls in bottom. 2 

4. Coal, fine, cubical and laminated ; much mineral 
charcoal 3 2 

5. Carbonaceous shale and ironstone, with layer of 

coarse coal 4| 

6. Coal, laminated and cubical 9 3 

7. Ironstone and carbonaceous shale 8 

8. Coal, with ironstone balls in bottom 1 2 

9. Coal 6 7 

10. Ironstone and pyrites 3 

11. Coal 10 3 

12. Coal coarse, layers of bituminous shale and 
pyrites . % 1 

13. Coal, laminated 2 1 

14. Coal with shale 2 3 

15. Underclay 10 

Thickness perpendicular to horizon 40 8 

Actual thickness 38 6 

The beds occur for the most part in trough-shaped 
basins, and the different strata and coal seams are 
fairly persistent in arrangement and thickness over 
considerable areas. The Pittsburg seam of the Appa- 
lachian coal field underlies an area of 22,500 square 
miles. Compared with this the Canadian coal fields 
are of small extent, but the beds are frequently found 
throughout the whole field. 

Below the coal seam there is nearly always a bed 
of clay, supposed to be the soil on which grew the 
vegetation that was subsequently transformed into 


the coal. Fossil roots, known as stigmariae, are fre- 
quently found in these strata. The clays are often 
of great purity, and frequently are very refractory. 
Of course such clays, at the time they supported 
plant life, must have been horizontal ; though now 
they, and the coal seams above, are frequently found 
highly inclined, as in the Pictou field. In the foldings 
to which the coal has been subjected it has in many 
cases suffered change. In the Bow River region of 
Alberta the coals of the plains are lignite ; but as the 
mountains are approached the lignites are replaced by 
bituminous coals, and these in the Cascade basin in 
the mountains are replaced by semi -anthracites and 

Thin seams of coal have been found in the Silurian 
and Devonian systems, but none are of economic im- 
portance. The Carboniferous, especially the upper 
portions, is, in the extent and quality of its coal beds, 
by far the most important coal-bearing system. The 
Permian, Triassic, Jurassic, Cretaceous, Eocene, Miocene 
and Pliocene systems all contain coal, usually in small 
amounts and of poor quality. The Cretaceous and 
Tertiary coal-beds are often, however, of enormous 
extent, and some of the beds are of excellent quality. 

Origin of Coal. That coal is of vegetable origin 
is attested by the fact that the woody structure is 
still to be seen in some cases, and the microscope 
shows the cells of the original plant in many more. 
Spores of lycopods are recognized in some coals, and 
tree- trunks standing at right angles to the coal seam, 
are frequently found with their roots penetrating the 


clays below. The Nova Scotia beds have furnished 
many fine examples of these erect trunks. 

These vegetable remains slowly lost their excess of 
hydrogen and oxygen, probably much as charcoal is 
at the present time made from wood, i.e., by heating 
where no air is present. In this way the oxygen 
unites with a small part of the carbon and passes 
off as carbon dioxid, and a part of the hydrogen 
disappears as water. The following table, compiled 
from Thorpe, shows the gradual passage from wood 
to anthracite coal : 





& I 



Mean composition of wood 
Club-moss without ash 
Humus, mean composition 
Peat, Devon ... . 


59 7 

5 9 

34 4 


Lignite, Cologne 


5 3 

27 7 

Brown coal, Tasmania 

71 9 

5 6 

22 5 

Bituminous coal, Dudley 
" " Newcastle .. 
Anthracite, Wales 
" Peru . . 

97 3 


1 7 


The club-mosses are the nearest living representa- 
tives of the coal vegetation, and the first two analyses 
show the great similarity in composition of very 
different plants. The oxygen and nitrogen are 
gradually eliminated, leaving a product each time 
richer in carbon. Apparently the hydrogen is not 



affected, but if a constant quantity of carbon is taken 
it, too, is shown to be given off. 

.S ^ a 
E> ' I ~ l 



S - 1 


\Vood average . 





Peat, " 





Lignite " .... 





Brown coal, average 





Bituminous coal, " 





Anthracite coal " 





Wood exposed to the air quickly rots, and all the 
carbon is consumed, but below water the action goes 
on much slower, since little oxygen is present. In 
this way plant remains might be preserved for years, 
new accumulations but serving the better to prevent 
the oxidation of the carbon of the old. Noticing the 
gradual passage in composition and physical charac- 
ters from peat to coal, it is but natural to suppose a 
peat bog to be the origin of all coal beds. Doubtless 
this peat bog theory is true for some of the lignite 
formations, but in the main it is incorrect. As the 
shales and limestones above and below the coal seams 
contain marine or brackish-water fossils, the beds 
must have been made in or near salt water. Nor 
have they arisen through the drifting of timber to 
the mouth of a stream and the silting over of the 
vegetable matter. This estuary theory does not 
account for fragile fern impressions and erect tree 


trunks and the stigmarise in the under clay. Prob- 
ably the vegetation flourished in swamps of brackish 
water along the coast and barely above sea level. 
After years of growth and decay a bed of vegetable 
matter was formed, and by a change of level the sea 
flowed over it, muds or sands were deposited and a 
slight elevation taking place a new growth of plants 
began. This in its turn was covered by the sea and 
a marine sediment deposited. And so by alternate 
risings and fallings of the land, by alternate marsh 
and sea, vegetable and mineral beds were deposited. 
The organic material under pressure slowly lost its 
gases and became coal, the variety depending on the 
age of the beds and on the amount of pressure and 
heat. Graphite, almost pure carbon, has originated, 
in some cases at least, through excessive heat and 
pressure applied to anthracite, and it seems to be the 
last stage in the progressive change from wood to 

The Coal Fields of Canada. The Maritime Pro- 
vinces. Throughout Nova Scotia and New Bruns- 
wick coal is found in rocks of the Carboniferous era, 
which are widely distributed and in places are of 
great thickness. Sir William Logan's section at the 
Joggins has a measured thickness of 14,570 feet, and 
the lowest part of the system is absent. Sir W. 
Dawson assigns a thickness of 16,000 feet to the Car- 
boniferous of Pictou. The New Brunswick beds are 
very much thinner, 600 feet being about the average. 
Carboniferous rocks are exposed over about two-thirds 
of New Brunswick and one-third of Nova Scotia- 


They border the Gulf of St. Lawrence from Gaspe 
through New Brunswick, northern Nova Scotia, in- 
cluding Cape Breton Island and western Newfound- 
land. Although of large extent, but a small portion 
of this area is coal-producing. Three fields are of 
economic importance, viz., Cumberland, PictoU and 
Cape Breton counties in Nova Scotia. Coal is found 
in other districts, but in too narrow seams to be of 
much value. A small amount is mined yearly in the 
vicinity of Grand Lake, N.B., but operations are of a 
desultory character. 

The Sydney or Cape Breton field, which has been 
worked for almost two hundred years, extends from 
Mire Bay to Cape Dauphin, thirty-two miles along 
the north-east coast of the island. The land area of 
the coal measures proper embraces sixty square 
miles, and it has been estimated that within three 
miles of the shore two billion tons of submarine coal 
are available. If the millstone grit, which carries 
workable seams in places, is included, the land .area of 
workable coal becomes 200 square miles. The field is 
divided into four basins by anticlinals, but the beds 
and coal seams are remarkably uniform for the whole 
district. Conglomerate followed by limestone consti- 
tutes the lowest 4,600 feet of the Carboniferous rocks. 
Next above is 4,000 feet of millstone grit. Succeeding 
this are the productive coal measures which include 
argillaceous and arenaceous shales, marls, underclays, 
limestones, black shales and coal. The measures are 
1,850 feet thick, and of these forty to fifty feet are 
coal. The average number of seams is said to be 


twenty -four, of which six are three feet and over. 
Underclays are always present, and sandstone fre- 
quently covers the coal seam. The coal, which is all 
bituminous, is said to be more combustible than that 
of Pictou, and contains less ash and more sulfur. 
About a dozen collieries are being worked in this field. 

The Cumberland county area has in general a 
trough-like structure, the rocks outcropping on the 
north dipping to the south, and those occurring 
on the north flank of the Cobequid Mountains dipping 
to the north. Cliffs in this county fronting Chignecto 
Bay furnish one of the finest sections of carbonifer- 
ous rocks in the world. The famous South Joggins 
section exhibits almost a continuous series of beds 
14,500 feet in thickness. The beds dip S. 25 W. at 
an angle of 19 and are exposed for about ten miles. 
They are made up of sandstones, conglomerates, shales, 
limestones and underclays filled with stigmarise, the 
series containing no less than seventy-six coal seams 
each indicating a period of quiescence and a luxurious 
marsh. The thickest seam is, however, only five feet, 
and this has from one to twelve inches of clay along 
the middle. A number of collieries are operating here 
and on the continuation of these seams to the east. 
At Springhill the most productive colliery in the 
province is working in a distinct basin where there 
are five seams ranging from four to thirteen feet in 

The Pictou field is a continuation to the east of the 
Cumberland carboniferous deposits. The thickness 
and number of the coal seams in parts of the dis- 


trict are very remarkable. A part of the section at 
the Albion mines is given by Dawson as follows : 

Feet. Inches. 

Main coal seam (greatest thickness) 39 11 

Sandstone, shale and ironstone 157 7 

Deep coal seam 24 9 

Shales, sandstone and ironstone, with several thin 
coals, viz., the Third seam, "Purvis" seam and 

"Fleming" seam, in all about twelve feet thick. 280 

"McGregor" coal seam 11 

Total .... 513 3 

Here we have five seams aggregating nearly eighty- 
eight feet of coal in a distance of 513 feet. It is to 
be noted, however, that the measurements were made 
perpendicular to the surface, and that the beds are 
inclined at an angle of 20. The main seam has an 
average thickness of thirty-eight feet, and at least 
twenty-four feet of this is marketable coal. Dawson 
calculates that this seam should yield 23,000,000 tons 
to the square mile, and other seams in the district half 
as much. Nothing like this amount is, however, 
attained in practice, the two main seams yielding 
about 10,000 tons to the acre, or 6,400,000 tons to the 
square mile. There are several reasons for this shrink- 
age : the district is badly faulted ; the beds are steeply 
inclined, and so, besides being hard to work, soon reach 
unworkable depths ; there are very sudden changes 
in the character of the coal, often making it worthless. 
The coals of this field are non-caking and good 
steam producers, and some make good coke for iron 
furnaces. Their worst defect is the large amount of 
ashes which they contain. 


For details of the geology of these fields and of the 
mines, consult the following : 

Cumberland Co. : Dawson, " Acadian Geology, " "Rep. Geol. 
Sur.," 1873-74, 1884-85, S 1886 to S 1892. Pictou Co. : " Rep. 
Geol. Sur.," 1866-69, 1890-91, S 1886 to S 1894. Poole, 
"Trans. N.S. Inst. Sci.," II. 1, 1892-93. Dawson, "Acad. 
Geol." Cape Breton Co. : " Rep. Geol. Sur.," 1872-73, 1874-75, 
1882-84, S 1886 to S 1892. Fletcher, "Trans. Min. Soc., 
N.S.," III. 1894-95. Dawson, "Acad. Geol." Routledge, 
''Trans. Am. Inst Min. Eng.," XIV. 542. Much information 
concerning all of them will be found in the annual reports of 
the Department of Mines of Nova Scotia. 

Manitoba and the North-West Territories. 
Throughout the plain region of Canada there is an 
immense tract of territory bearing coal. While the 
Carboniferous was the coal-forming era of the east, 
rocks of this age are destitute of coal in the west, 
their place being taken by the Cretaceous and early 
Tertiary formations. The coals vary from poor 
lignites to good anthracites, the quality improving as 
the mountains are approached. The most easterly 
beds occur in the Laramie formation in the Turtle 
Mountain district, Manitoba, where a bed is found 
some four feet thick and fairly persistent throughout 
the district. Throughout southern Assiniboia there 
is an immense area of Laramie rocks, carrying lignite 
in many places. In the Souris River valley Selwyn 
estimates that there is an area of 120 square miles, 
carrying 7,137,000 tons to the mile. These coals con- 
tain a large amount of water, and easily disintegrate 
on exposure, so that they are un suited for transporta- 
tion, but can be used locally. 


Natural sections occurring on the river banks show 
seams of coal at scores of places throughout the 
Cretaceous and Laramie of south-western Assiniboia, 
and the whole of Alberta. At Medicine Hat, on the 
South Saskatchewan, in a bank 260 feet high, there 
are nine beds, aggregating sixteen feet of coal, two 
of these beds being each about five feet thick. 
At Coal Banks on the Belly River there are five 
seams in 42 feet. No data are available for estimating 
the exact extent and value of these enormous beds. 
Dawson has shown that in several districts in the 
Bow and Belly River valleys there are 5,000,000 tons 
to the square mile. The great seam on the North 
Saskatchewan maintains a thickness of 25 feet for 
three miles, and has been traced for 180 miles. 

In the region of the plains the coal is lignitic, but 
superior to that widely used in Germany and Austria. 
In the foot-hills and in the isolated Laramie and 
Cretaceous basins of the mountains, the coal is 
bituminous. In one basin the Cascade pressure 
has been greater and an anthracite has been produced. 
This basin is 65 miles long and about 2 wide. The 
rocks, which are 5,000 feet in thickness, are shales and 
sandstones of the Kootanie division of the Cretaceous. 
Two seams of workable coal are here yielding the 
only anthracite produced in Canada. Outcrops of 
lignite are found in the river valleys far to the north. 
Coal beds on the Mackenzie River in latitude 67 N., 
and on the Lewes, a tributary of the Yukon, and else- 
where, may yet prove of great value. 

For details see the following Geol. Sur. Reports : 
Souris River, etc , 1879-80 A; Bow and Belly Rivers, 


1880-82 B, 1882-84 C; Cascade basin, 1885 B; 
Analyses, physical characters, fuel value, 1882-84 M, 
1885 M, 1887 T, 1888 R ; Localities, Catalogue Sec- 
tion I. of the Museum. 

British Columbia. Coal was discovered in British 
Columbia in 1835, and a few tons mined each year 
until 1852, when operations were begun on a larger 
scale. Up to the end of 1896 over 11,000,000 tons 
have been mined, and the industry is growing con- 
tinuously. Coal is found in two geological formations, 
the Mesozoic and Tertiary. Carboniferous rocks, 
though found in British Columbia, and often of 
great thickness, are never coal-bearing. The coal 
found varies all the way from a poor lignite, though 
first-class bituminous coal to a good anthracite. 

The Cretaceous was the coal-bearing era in the 
province, and two periods of growth are recognized. 
The older is represented by the coal measures of Queen 
Charlotte Islands, Quatsino Sound, Vancouver Island, 
and Crow's Nest Pass in the Rocky Mountains. 
The upper coal measures of the Cretaceous are found 
at Nanaimo, Comox and Suquash on Vancouver 
Island. On the Queen Charlotte Islands both anthra- 
cite and bituminous coal are found. The beds in which 
the former is found are almost vertical, a fact connected 
with the metamorphism which the coal has under- 
gone. Mining operations have been attempted on a 
bed six feet thick, but the difficulty of following the 
seams, the coal often being in a crushed and pulveru- 
lent state, has been a barrier, so far, to success. Valu- 
able seams of bituminous coal, eighteen feet thick, 


are found in these islands. In the same horizon 
in the Crow's Nest Pass twenty seams of bitumin- 
ous coal are reported, three of them being respectively 
15, 20 and 30 feet thick, in all 132 feet. The area 
of this field is at least 144 square miles, and it 
promises to be one of the most productive fields in 
the Dominion. Selwyn calculates that there are 
50,000,000 tons to the square mile. 

The chief productive measures at present are in 
the upper portion of the Cretaceous system. This 
formation extends as a synclinal trough for 130 
miles, the western side of the trough forming the 
eastern slope of Vancouver Island, and the remainder 
being under water. It is divided into two districts, 
the northern one, the Comox field, having an area of 
three hundred square miles, and the Nanaimo one to 
the south an area of two hundred square miles. At 
Comox the coal measures are 740 feet in thickness, 
and contain nine seams aggregating 16 feet of coal. 
The lowest and thickest averages 7 feet. At the 
Union mine in 122 feet, only a small part of the 
productive measures, there are ten seams with an 
aggregate of 30 feet of coal, the thickest bed being 10 
feet. Richardson has calculated that in this field 
there are 16,000,000 tons of coal to the square mile. 
In the Nanaimo field there are two seams of workable 
coal, six to ten feet in thickness. The coal from both 
these fields is of excellent quality and much superior 
to the lignites found in Washington and Oregon 
States to the south. 

The fuels of the Tertiary in British Columbia are 

usually lignites, though occasionally a bituminous 





coal is found. Most of them are found in rocks of 
the Miocene era, though at the mouth of the Fraser 
an area of eighteen thousand square miles is under- 
laid by the Laramie formation, which is a con- 
tinuation of the lignite-bearing formation of Wash- 
ington State. About twelve thousand square miles of 
igneous Tertiary rocks in the interior plateau are 
underlaid by sedimentary rocks of the same era, and 
these probably contain deposits of lignite in many 
places. Such beds have indeed been found and 
worked in the valleys of the Nicola and Thompson 
rivers. Many other localities are reported, a com- 
plete list of which is given by Dawson, Rep. R 
Geol. Sur. Can., 1887-88, p. 145. For details of the 
coal districts see the Geol. Sur. Reports, 1871-72, 
1872-73, 1873-74, 1876-77, 1878-79, B 1885, B 1886, 
R 1887, A 1891, and the annual reports of the Minis- 
ter of Mines of British Columbia. 

Foreign Coal Fields, In the United States there 
are several areas of Carboniferous coal, the most im- 
portant one being that of Pennsylvania- Arkansas. 
The productive measures of this area are divided into 
three parts, viz., Appalachian, Illinois and Mississippi. 
Throughout the Western, Rocky Mountain and Pacific 
States there are immense areas of Cretaceous and Ter- 
tiary coals. Most of these are lignites, but some are 
good bituminous coals. The Atlantic and Pacific coasts 
of the United States are without good coal ; the 
interior is well supplied. There are about 300,000 
square miles of coal-bearing strata, but not more 
than 50,000 square miles are of economic importance. 



In Great Britain the area of the coal measures is 
12,000 square miles, the thickness being greater 
than in any other part of Europe. In France there 
is an area of 2,000 square miles ; in Spain, 4,000 ; in 
Belgium, 518; in Austria, 1,800 ; in Germany, 1,700. 
In Russia there is an area of 30,000 square miles, but 
in not more than 11,000 are the beds of economic 
value. In China, India and Australia there are large 
areas of Permian age, and in Austria and Germany 
there are large areas of lignite in beds of Miocene age. 

Production. The following tables are self- 
explanatory : 



N. B. 

N. S. 

N. W. T. 

B. C. 








3,743 000 

8 006 000 








[ Bituminous coal. . 
1894 -I Anthracite 
^ Coal dust 

( Bituminous coal . . 
1895 -1 Anthracite 









^ Coal dust 



(From " RothwelVs Mineral Industry") 

(Metric tons, 2,204 Ibs.) 
Country. 1895. 

Great Britain 194,351,000 

United States 177,596,000 

Germany 103,877,000 

France 28,236,000 

Austria 27,250,000 

Belgium 20,415,000 

Russia 7,551,000 

Australia 3,975,000 

Japan 3,650,000 

Canada 3,187,000 

India 2,650,000 

All other countries 5,267,000 

Total 578,209,000 

LITERATURE. "Reports Pennsylvania Geological Survey;" 
Dawson, ** Acadian Geology ; " Green, etc., " Coal, Its History 
and Uses; " Dana's "Geology ; " Geikie's "Geology ; " Details 
of equipment and production of Canadian mines in statistical 
reports (S) of the Geol. Sur., and in the annual reports of the 
Departments of Mines for N.S. and B.C. ; also in Can. Mining 
Manual, 1896. 


Graphite is a soft greyish-black mineral, with a 
greasy feeling, consisting entirely of carbon. It is 
known also as plumbago and as black-lead, but both 
are misnomers since it does not contain that metal. 
Sometimes it occurs in hexagonal crystals, more 
usually in a massive state, either foliated, columnar, 
or scaly. It is found in beds or disseminated masses 


in metamorphic rocks as gneiss and crystalline lime- 
stone. In some cases it has certainly resulted from 
the alteration of coal by heat, occasioned by mountain 
folding, as in Rhode Island, or by the heat of errupted 
dikes, as in Texas. Some have held that all the 
graphite of the older rocks is of this origin, and that 
the immense deposits in the Laurentian gneisses are 
but the metamorphosed vegetable remains of that 
distant time. Of this we have no direct proof, and 
the absence of all fossil remains rather speaks against 
the theory. 

Occurrence Graphite is distributed through the 
older rocks in all parts of the world. It occurs in 
immense quantities of exceptional purity in the island 
of Ceylon, and it is from there that most of the 
commercial supply is now brought. Austria, Ger- 
many and the United States contain large deposits, 
and a considerable amount is mined yearly in these 

In Canada graphite is found in economic deposits 
in three localities. In the neighborhood of St. John, 
N.B., beds of argillites and limestones contain large 
quantities of disseminated graphite. Argenteuil and 
Ottawa counties, Que., and the line of the Kingston 
and Pembroke Railway, Ont., are the two other local- 
ities which are, however, geologically one. The 
Quebec region is the more important, and from it 
nearly all the mineral produced in Canada has come. 
According to Vennor the graphite is here found " in 
three distinct forms : 1, as disseminated scales, or 
plates in the limestones, gneisses, pyroxenites and 


quartzites, and even in some of the iron ores, as at 
Hull ; 2, as lenticular or disseminated masses, embed- 
ded in the limestone, or at the junction of these and 
the adjoining gneiss and pyroxenite ; and 3, in the 
form of true fissure veins, cutting the enclosed strata." 
The first method of occurrence is of the most import- 
ance economically, twenty to thirty per cent, of the 
rock frequently being graphite. The veins vary from 
an inch to two feet in width and contain the purest 
mineral. The rock is crushed and washed and the 
lighter graphite separated, the dressed graphite result- 
ing containing three to ten per cent of ash, which by 
treatment with hydrochloric acid is easily removed. 
Hoffman has shown that so treated Canadian graphite 
is quite as pure and quite as incombustible as the 
Ceylon product. Vein graphite from Ceylon and 
Canada are almost identical, as the following analyses 

Canada: carbon, 99.81; ash, 0.08; volatile matter, 0.11 
Ceylon: " 99.79; " 0.05; " " 0.16 

Notwithstanding these large and pure deposits the 
production of Canadian graphite is decreasing, the 
reason assigned being the lack of uniformity in the 
article put on the market. 

Uses. The uses of graphite depend on its infusi- 
bility, softness, and ability to conduct heat and 
electricity. One-third of the product is employed in 
refractory articles, as crucibles, furnaces, etc. It is 
a striking fact, illustrating the influence of the 
arrangement of the molecules of a substance on its 


properties, that we use pure carbon as charcoal or 
coke to heat our furnaces, and pure carbon mixed with 
fire-clay to make crucibles to resist the heat. Other 
uses of graphite are for stove polish, foundry facings, 
glazing powder, lubricating heavy machinery, electro- 
typing and pencil leads. 

The production in 1895 was 220 tons, valued at 
$6,100, and of this 54 tons valued at $4,800 were 
exported. There were imported the same year plum- 
bago manufactures to the value of $38,000. 

LITERATURE. Rep. Geol. Sur., 1873-74, 1876-77, 1888 K, 
1890-91 S and S S. 




PETROLEUM is an oily liquid of disagreeable odor, 
usually greenish -brown in color but varying widely. 
In specific gravity it ranges from 0.6 to 0.9, some 
kinds being thin and flowing whilst others are thick 
and viscous. On the one hand, it graduates through 
maltha into asphalt or solid bitumen ; on the other 
into natural gas. None of these substances are pro- 
perly minerals. They are indefinite mixtures of a 
number of hydrocarbon compounds, chiefly of the par- 
affin series (C n H 2n+2 ). The olefins (C n H 2n ) and ben- 
zenes (C n H 2n _ 6 ) are present in small amount. The 
higher the value of n the higher the melting and 
boiling points, so that certain mixtures are gases, 
others liquid oils, and a third division are solids. 
The solid paraffins are soluble in the liquid ones, so 
that crude petroleum often yields large amounts of 
paraffin wax. This is especially true of the Ontario 
oil. The different liquid compounds are separated 
by distillation, and the crude oil is made to yield gaso- 
line, benzine, naphtha, kerosene, lubricating oil, etc. 


Occurrence. Petroleum occurs in all the sedi- 
mentary formations from the Cambrian period to the 
present. Its geographical distribution is world-wide, 
but it is in comparatively few localities that it exists 
in economic quantities. It is associated usually with 
argillaceous shales and sandstones, and not infre- 
quently is found impregnating limestones. Where 
these oleiferous rocks outcrop, the water of the wells 
and rivers frequently has a scum of oil. More often, 
and especially with the richer deposits, the oil beds 
are at some distance below the surface and covered 
with an impervious layer of rock. The source of the 
oil is undoubtedly the animals and plants which were 
entombed in the sedimentary deposits. On decom- 
position these remains yielded hydrocarbons which 
were stored in the rocks, sometimes evenly distrib- 
uted, as throughout the bituminous Utica shale ; at 
other times collected in caverns. The geological 
structure necessary for the preservation of oil and 
gas seems to be an anticlinal arch with an imper- 
vious layer above and a porous one below, or else a 
cavern in an impervious stratum. Some geologists 
hold that oil and gas are always the result of 
secondary distillation that after the production of 
bituminous shales slow distillation takes place, and 
the products collect where the structure is suitable, or 
slowly escape. On this view oil should never be 
found in the rock in which the organic remains 
abound, but above it. For some fields, as the Ontario 
one, this is certainly not the case. Some have 
assumed that oil and gas are the more volatile parts 


of the immense mass of vegetation whose remains 
form our coal beds. The great oil and gas wells are, 
however, sunk in Silurian and Devonian strata, and 
consequently lie below the coal beds, which belong to 
the later Carboniferous period. 

When a well is drilled into a petroleum pool, oil, 
gas, or salt water may be found. They are probably 
arranged in the porous sandstone in the order of 
their specific gravities, with gas at the top, water 
at the bottom, and oil between. Through long-con- 
tinued distillation in a confined space, the gas is 
usually under great pressure. When the bore-hole 
reaches the deposit, the expanding gas either rushes 
out itself, or, if the bore tapped the cavern nearer the 
bottom, forces out the oil, or water, as the case may 
be. After exhaustion of the gaseous pressure pump- 
ing is resorted to. Before leaving a pumped-out well 
it is customary to "shoot" it. A charge of nitro- 
glycerine is exploded in the bottom, by which new 
channels are opened and a fresh supply of oil often 

Canadian Oil Fields. In 1862 the first flowing 
well was struck at Oil Springs, Lambton county, 
Ontario. There was an immediate rush to the field. 
Dr. Alex. Winchell, in his " Sketches of Creation," 
describes the excitement and waste as follows 
" Though western Pennsylvania has produced numer- 
ous flowing wells of wonderful capacity, there is no 
quarter of the world where the production has 
attained such prodigious dimensions as in 1862 upon 
Oil Creek, in the township of Enniskillen, Ontario. 


The first flowing well was struck there January 11, 
1862, and before October not less than thirty-five 
wells had commenced to drain a storehouse which 
provident Nature had occupied untold thousands of 
years in filling for the uses not the amusement of 
man. There was no use for* the oil at that time. 
The price had fallen to ten cents per barrel. The 
unsophisticated settlers of that wild and wooded 
region seemed inspired by an infatuation. Without 
an object, save the gratification of their curiosity at 
the onwonted sight of a combustible fluid pouring 
out of the bosom of the earth, they seemed to vie 
with each other in plying their hastily and rudely 
erected 'spring poles' to work the drill that was 
almost sure to burst, at the depth of a hundred feet, 
into a prison of petroleum. Some of these wells 
flowed three hundred and six hundred barrels per 
day. Others flowed a thousand, two thousand, and 
three thousand barrels per day ; three flowed sever- 
ally six thousand barrels per day. . . . Three 
years later that oil would have brought ten dollars 
per barrel in gold. Now its escape was the mere 
pastime of full-grown boys." Five million barrels 
were wasted in this way the first summer. 

There are two distinct fields in Lambton county, 
separated by a synclinal fold. The Petrolia one 
extends west-north-west thirteen miles, and is about 
two in width. The Oil Springs field covers about 
two square miles. In both cases the oil is found 
in the Corniferous limestone at Oil Springs at a 


depth of 370 feefc ; at Petrolia, 465 feet below the 

The following is the log of a well at Petrolia : 

Surface 104 feet ^ Drift. 

Limestone (" Upper lime "). . . 40 
Shale (" Upper soap ") 130 

Limestone ( ' ' Middle lime ") . . 15 

Shale ( ' ' Lower soap ") 43 

Limestone, hard white 68 

" soft 40 

grey 25 

Oil at a depth of 465 



About ten thousand wells are now in operation, 
yielding on the average about half a barrel a day. 
About four hundred wells are drilled annually to 
replace those exhausted. Pipe lines are laid through 
the district, and the companies receive oil from pro- 
ducers and store it until sold to the refiners. 

A little south-west of Bothwell, Kent county, is a 
third field, which is likely to become a producing 
area. Small amounts of oil have been obtained in 
other parts of Ontario, notably Oxford, Essex, Perth 
and Welland counties and on Manitoulin Island ; but 
no paying wells have been found. Recent discoveries 
on Pelee Island are promising. Oil oozes to the 
surface over a considerable area to the south of Gaspe' 
Bay, Que. Several borings have been made, but the 
yield has been small. The prospect for productive 
oil wells is, however, a good one. In Nova Scotia 
and New Brunswick surface indications of oil have 


been found, but boring operations have resulted in 
entire failure. 

In the valley of the Athabasca, in the North-West 
Territories, there is an immense deposit of tar sands. 
These sands are siliceous in character, fine-grained 
and cemented together by maltha, or inspissated 
petroleum. They belong to the Dakota formation, 
the lowest division of the Cretaceous, and lie un- 
conformably on Devonian limestones. They outcrop 
over an area of one thousand square miles, and 
possibly extend beneath the surface as far as the 
Saskatchewan. In many places one-fifth of the 
sand, by bulk, is bitumen. It has been calculated 
by McConnell that there are six and a half cubic 
miles of bitumen in the Athabasca valley. It is the 
residue of a flow of petroleum from the underlying 
Devonian, unequalled elsewhere in the world. These 
tar sands will doubtless soon become of value as a 
source of bitumen. 

Farther to the south there is a probability of find- 
ing oil which has not lost its volatile ingredients. 
South of Boiler Rapids the tar sand is overlaid by 
impervious shale, which in small anticlines doubtless 
has imprisoned some oil and gas. All through the 
Mackenzie River valley similar deposits of tar are 
found, and the same probabilities of extensive oil 
pools exist. In the South Kootenay Pass there are 
some indications of economic deposits being found 
in Cambrian strata. 

Refining and Use. The crude oil is distilled in 
large sheet-iron retorts. The easily vaporized gasoline 


and naphtha come off first and are condensed ; then 
the kerosene, the wool oils, and lastly the lubricating 
oils follow ; a carbonaceous mass is left behind. The 
coke is used as fuel ; the other distillates are further 
separated and purified by redistillation and by chemi- 
cals. The Ontario oil contains a very large percentage 
of sulfur, and in the early days it was not known how 
to remove this. Canadian oil, as a result, had a dis- 
agreeable odor, and there is a prejudice against it to 
this day, though it is claimed that the best quality is 
now as good as any on the market. 

The crude petroleum yielded the refiners in 1889 : 

Illuminating oils 38 . 7 per cent. 

Benzine and naphtha 1.6 " " 

Paraffin and other oils (including gas, 
paraffin, black and other lubri- 
cating oils and paraffin wax) ... 25 . 3 " * ' 

Waste (including coke, tar and heavy 

residuum) 34.4 " " 


Few raw materials yield as many products minis- 
tering to the comfort and happiness of men as does 
the rank-smelling crude petroleum. The benefits of 
cheap illuminating oil can hardly be overestimated. 
The lighter oils are used to mix the paints with which 
we adorn our homes, and the heavier vaseline is used 
to anoint our heads. Thick, black oils are used to 
lubricate car-axles and other heavy machinery, and 
white paraffin forms the basis of chewing gum. As 



solid paraffin, as liquid oil, as gaseous gasoline, 
petroleum affords us both heat and light. As naphtha 
and benzine, it is used as a solvent of fats. 

Production, The following tables show the mag- 
nitude of the oil industry : 







Illuminating oils 

. . . . gallons 

10 711 000 

$1 217 000 

Benzine and naphtha 

642 000 

63 000 

Paraffin oils 

1 016 000 

140 000 

Gas and fuel oils 


6 095 000 

219 000 

Lubricating oils and tar .... 
Paraffin wax 


1 840 000 

83 000 

Axle-grease . . 


8 000 

ci COB 000 

Total crude oil used . . . 


24 955 000 








Illuminating oils . . 

. gallons 


| $525,000 



Crude and lubricating 
Paraffin wax 
Paraffin wax candles. 

oils " 
. . pounds 



In Metric Tons of 2,204 Ibs. 

1. United States 6,158,000 

2. Russia 4,873,000 

3. Austria 132,000 

4. Canada 116,000 

5. Roumania 75,000 

6. India (1893) 31,000 

7. Germany 17,000 

8. Japan 15,000 

9. Italy 3,000 

RothwelVs "Mm. Industry."" 

LITERATURE. Ontario : Geol. Sur. Reports, 1863, 1866, Q, S 
and S S, V. 1890-91 ; Min. Res. Ont., 1890. Gaspe : Geol. Sur. 
K, 1888. Kootenay : Geol. Sur. 1891, 9 A. Athabasca : Geol. 
Sur., 144 S, 1890-91. Bibliography : Rep. Q, 1890 ; Canadian 
Mining Manual, 1896. For complete description of the petro- 
leum industry, see Crew, "Practical Treatise on Petroleum," 
1887. For geology of petroleum, see Orton, An. Rep. U. S. 
Geol. Sur., 1889. 


Burning springs have been known in many localities 
in North America from the earliest settlement, but 
with few exceptions, as at Fredonia, N.Y., no use was 
made of them. After the discovery of oil, large 
quantities of gas were frequently found in drilling for 
the former. For a number of years, however, even 
these bountiful supplies failed to attract attention. In 
1879 gas was introduced into a Pittsburg factory, and 
from that time on its economic importance has been 
fully recognized and deposits of it eagerly sought. 
Few parts of North America are entirely destitute of 
reservoirs of gas, but the productive wells are almost 
entirely in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana 
and Ontario. Some gas fields are intimately associated 



with petroleum deposits, and the gas is doubtless of the 
same origin. In Ohio the Trenton limestone is the 
great reservoir, but in Ontario that formation is almost 
barren. It is in the Medina and Clinton divisions of 
the Upper Silurian that the Ontario gas is found. 
The Pennsylvania gas occurs in a still later formation 
that of the Upper Devonian. A small amount of gas 
is found in the Cretaceous of the North- West. 

Gas, like oil, has accumulated in porous rocks or 
under the arch of an anticline, overlaid by an imper- 
vious layer of shale or clay. It is the product of the dis- 
tillation of plants and animals entombed in a 
sedimentary deposit. The distillation has gone on 
slowly for ages, the gas accumulating under pressure. 
Ori tapping the reservoir pressure is relieved and the 
gas escapes. Millions of cubic feet have been wasted, 
people not realizing that it was a store easily 
exhausted. This is well shown in the case of Penn- 
sylvania, whose production has fallen from $18,000,000 
in 1888 to $8,000,000 in 1891. Natural gas is a mix- 
ture of a number of gases, most of which are found in 
ordinary illuminating gases but in a different propor- 
tion. The following analyses from Sexton's " Fuel " 
will make this relation clear : 



Coal Gas. 

Water Gas. 

Carbon dioxid and nitrogen .... 
Marsh gas, CH 4 





' 20'. 2 


Heavy hydrocarbons C n H 2n . . . 
Carbon monoxid CO 




Canadian Localities. Small quantities of gas 
from superficial deposits are found in many parts of 
the Dominion. In the North- West Territories some 
paying wells have been opened along the Canadian 
Pacific Railway, and on the Athabasca promising 
indications are found. The only localities of impor- 
tance at present are in Ontario near the shore of Lake 
Erie. The Essex field extends east and west for a 
distance of twelve miles along the coast and for about 
two miles back. The wells are a little over 1,000 feet 
in depth, and yield from nothing up to 10,000,000 
cubic feet a day. Two pipe lines carry the gas thirty 
miles to Windsor and Detroit. 

The other district extends forty-five miles east- 
ward from Cayuga nearly to the Niagara River. The 
gas is found in Medina sandstone at a depth of 700 to 
850 feet, and issues from the wells under a pressure 
reaching in some cases to 500 pounds to the square 
inch. Pipe lines are laid through the district, and the 
wells are connected directly with Buffalo, where most 
of the gas is consumed. It is also used locally for 
burning lime and for lighting several towns and 
villages. Leamington, Ont., is said to have reduced 
its rate of taxation one-half by means of the revenue 
derived from supplying the village with gas. In 1895? 
123 wells produced in Ontario 3,320,000 M. cubic 
feet of gas valued at $283,000. 


Asphalt or bitumen is a mixture of various hydro- 
carbons, some of which are usually oxidized. It is a 


black or brown solid with a resinous lustre and bitu- 
minous odor, found as a superficial deposit in many 
parts of the world, but usually associated with bitu- 
minous rocks. Commercial asphalt is largely brought 
from a pitch lake on the island of Trinidad. Many 
varieties of asphalt have received distinct mineral- 
ogical names : of these albertite and maltha occur in 
economic quantities in Canada. All have been formed 
from petroleum by the vaporisation of the more 
volatile hydrocarbons. 

The immense beds of maltha in Athabasca have 
been described under petroleum. Albertite is a 
pitch -like mineral found in the Lower Carboniferous of 
Kings and Albert counties, New Brunswick. At the 
Albert mine it occurred in an irregular fissure having 
a maximum thickness of seventeen feet. The veins 
are found in or near the Albert shales, a highly bitu- 
minous, calcareous clay rock with an abundance of 
fossil fish, and the mineral has apparently resulted 
from a distillation of this shale. Its composition, 
represented by 58 per cent, of volatile matter and 
42 of fixed carbon, made it of great value for gas 
making, and 200,000 tons were shipped to the eastern 
United States for that purpose. The locality is now 

Anthraxolite is a name applied to a black combust- 
ible, coal-like substance found in Ontario and Quebec, 
which resembles anthracite in general characters. In 
composition it is essentially carbon, with from three to 
twenty-six per cent, of volatile matter. It never occurs 
in beds like coal, but in fissures in limestones, shales 


and sandstones. Dr. Sterry Hunt says, " It can 
scarcely be doubted that the coaly matters of the 
Quebec group have resulted from the slow alteration 
of liquid bitumen in the fissures of the strata." Some 
of the numerous occurrences may yield a few tons 
of fuel for local use. A vein at Sudbury is being 
exploited for this purpose. 

Bituminous shales are often distilled for oil and 
gas. Works once existed at Collingwood and Whitby, 
Ont., for this purpose, but the discovery of petroleum 
destroyed the industry. Similar rocks were at one 
time distilled in Albert County, N.B., and in Pictou, 
N,S. The former yielded 63 gallons of oil and 7,500 
feet of gas to the ton. When our petroleum deposits 
are exhausted these reservoirs of hydrocarbons may 
once more be of value. Similar rocks supply con- 
siderable oil in Scotland, competing successfully with 
American petroleum. 

LITERATURE. For description of the wells, production, etc., 
Geol. Sur. Reports Q 1890, S 1890, SS 1891, S 1892, S 1894 
and Rep. Bur. of Mines, Ont. , 1891. Bibliography, Geol. Sur. 
Q 1890. Origin Geol. Sur. Rep.Q 1890 and Bur. Mines, 1891. 
Nat. gas in U.S., Ashburner, Trans. Am. Inst. Min. Eng. Vol. 
XIV., XV., XVI. Asphalt, Athabasca Geol. Sur. 64 D 1890, 
6 A 1894. Albertite, N.B. Dawson, Acad. Geol; Geol. Sur. 
1876-7. Anthraxolite Rep. Geol. Sur. 18 T 1888-9; Bur. 
Mines, Ont., 1896. 



AMONG the materials which the mineral world 
furnishes for man's use, few are more important than 
those adapted for building. True, granite and clay 
and sand are so common to us Canadians that we 
hardly think of them as contributing to our mineral 
wealth. Nevertheless, one-quarter of our annual 
mineral production that is, a little over $5,000,000 
in value is derived from rocks. A rock has already 
been defined as a variable mixture of minerals rang- 
ing in cohesion from loose de'bris to the most compact 
stone. Rocks are never the source of our useful 
metals, nor do they as a general thing yield us valu- 
able chemical products. Their economic importance 
lies, for the most part, in their structural adaptability. 
No other material approaches them in strength or 
durability. The extent of our forests and the conse- 
quent cheapness of timber have caused us to neglect 
our granites and limestones. As lumber increases in 
price and as the need for more indestructible build- 
ings grows, there will doubtless be a greater employ- 


ment of stone. True, many farm-houses are built of 
boulders, and some of our towns are quite largely 
erected from limestone quarried in the neighborhood. 
In both cases cheapness has been the only desidera- 
tum, and durability and beauty have been neglected. 

Building Stones. That a rock be useful as a 
building stone it is necessary that it should be strong 
and durable. It is also desirable that it be easily 
quarried and dressed, and that it have beauty of color 
and texture. Strength and durability depend on 
several considerations. The finer the structure and the 
more compactly the grains are consolidated the greater 
the strength. The kind and amount of cementing 
material exerts a great influence on both strength and 
durability. A cement filling all the interstices of a 
rock will evidently make a stronger stone than one 
in which the grains are merely held together by their 
adjacent faces. A siliceous cement is stronger than 
a calcareous one a ferruginous than an argillaceous. 
Again, a porous rock is capable of absorbing consider- 
able water, and in our cold climate this is a deleterious 
property. As freezing water expands with enormous 
power, the outer parts of the stone are slowly forced 
off, and ultimately the whole crumbles. According to 
Merrill a rock which absorbs 10 per cent, of its weight 
of water in twenty -four hours should usually be dis- 
carded. Some good sandstones approach this amount ; 
granites average perhaps one-twentieth as much. 

Fineness of grain and uniformity of size are con- 
ducive to durability. In a granite, for instance, under 
the influence of the sun's heat all the grains expand. 


And since the rate of expansion is different for each 
of the ingredients, mica, felspar and quartz, a strain 
is put on the cementing material. Alternate expansion 
and contraction ultimately results in disintegration. 
" Dr. Livingstone found in Africa that surfaces of 
rock which during the day were heated up to 137 F. 
cooled so rapidly by radiation at night that, unable to 
sustain the strain of contraction, they split and threw 
off sharp angular fragments from a few ounces to 
100 or 200 pounds in weight." In burning buildings 
the heat is still greater, and the sudden cooling pro- 
duced by dashes of cold water tests a stone severely. 
Granite, of all the rocks, is the least fire-proof. Marble 
and limestone are the least affected where the heat is 
not sufficient to cause decomposition and where 
water is absent. With greater heat sandstone is most 

Another cause of decay is the presence of injurious 
accessory minerals. Pyrite is the most common and the 
most injurious. It slowly unites with oxygen to form 
the various oxids and hydroxids known as rust. In 
some cases only the beauty of the stone is marred ; 
in others its strength is weakened. Ferrous carbonate 
and small seams of clay are other deleterious minerals. 

The facility with which a rock may be worked 
depends on the hardness of its constituents and on 
the presence of joints, beds or other natural fractures. 
A granite is harder to work than a limestone because 
of the hardness of the quartz and felspar of the 
former. For a similar reason, also, a siliceous sand- 
stone is more costly to market than an argillaceous 


one. A rock which cleaves regularly in any direction 
can be more cheaply produced than one with an 
irregular fracture. 

In the selection of a building stone for important 
structures durability is of prime importance. The 
most reliable information can be got by observing the 
effect on old structures. Failing these, an examina- 
tion of the natural outcrop of the rock will yield 
information concerning its weather-resisting power. 
" If in these exposures the edges and angles of the 
stone remain sharp if its surface shows no sign of 
flaking or crumbling, no cracks nor holes where 
pyrites or clay has lurked, nor dark stains from the 
change of iron compounds it may be relied upon for 
structures if proper care is used to reject suspicious 
blocks." Much also may be gathered from a micro- 
scopic examination. Of secondary importance is the 
strength, though this is the property which is most 
usually tested. Any compact stone has many times 
the strength usually required. Imperviousness to 
water would be a more desirable test. For piers of 
bridges, foundations and other rough purposes, faults 
of color, coarseness of texture or irregularity of 
fracture are of no account, and proximity and conse- 
quent cheapness will be the condition sought. 

The Crystalline Rocks. Immense areas of granite 
and allied rocks are found in Canada a quantity 
sufficient to supply all the world with building stone. 
The commercial term granite includes not only the 
true granite of the geologist but a number of related 
rocks. Syenite has the general appearance of a 


granite, but is without the quartz of the latter. Both 
have orthoclase felspar and either mica or hornblende. 
Gneiss has the same minerals but is schistose in 
structure. All three are quarried for building pur- 
poses, and the granite and syenite for monumental 
stones. They are widely distributed through the 
whole Dominion, the region of the plains excepted. 
Granite is expensive to work, and has not yet been 
used to any extent in Canada as a building stone. It 
seems, however, quite unnecessary for us to import 
granite from Scotland for monuments when quite as 
good stone surrounds us on every side. Quarries 
have been opened in British Columbia, at Kingston 
and Gananoque, Ont., in Stanstead, Que., in New 
Brunswick and in Nova Scotia, from which about 
13,000 tons are annually raised, valued at $70,000, 
These granite rocks, as well as the more basic igneous 
rocks, diorite, anorthosite, etc., are also used as paving 

Sand and Sandstone. The crystalline rocks 
slowly disintegrate through the action of heat, mois- 
ture and frost, and the streams carry off the products 
to deposit them ultimately in some lake or ocean. 
The particles of quartz are much the most enduring. 
Felspar, mica and hornblende are not only separated 
from each other by the weathering of the rock, but 
are also decomposed. All three yield clay and some 
free silica, besides other minerals. The quartz, though 
rounded on the edges through long-continued rub- 
bing, remains pure silica to the last. Thus it is that 
most rocks, when reduced to fine grains, yield a sand 


which is largely silica. Pure silica is white, and the 
light yellow color of many sands is due to stains of 
iron oxid or to a mixture of black grains of the 
magnetic oxid of iron. Small amounts of undecom- 
posed mica or felspar may also be found. In a lime- 
stone region the sands may be calcareous. Clay also 
may be mixed with the sand. 

Sands of all kinds are widely distributed over our 
country, and are in all cases a superficial deposit. 
Only on rocky hills, swept bare by glacial action, are 
they lacking. Sandstones are but consolidated sands. 
They have been formed in ancient seas by the pres- 
sure of overlying material, and have since been raised 
above the water. A cement of iron oxid, silica, clay 
or limestone holds the grains together, and gives a 
distinctive character to the rock. Some sandstones 
are almost pure silica ; others through the presence 
of clay merge into shales ; others again shade gradu- 
ally into limestones. In some cases these sandstones 
were subjected to heat as well as pressure, and all the 
materials in them were recrystallized. Pure sand, 
metamorphosed in this way, became the solid white 
quartzite so common in our Huronian districts. A 
sand with mica became a mica schist ; one with fel- 
spar and mica became a gneiss, and so the cycle was 
completed from igneous rock back to igneous. 

Sandstones are usually bedded, the planes of strati- 
fication representing intervals in the deposit of sand 
on the ocean floor. The deposit of one period became 
somewhat consolidated before the next supply of 
material was brought down. The beds are sometimes 


but a fraction of an inch in thickness, at others several 
feet. The thicker beds which split readily in any 
direction are known as freestone. 

In the very dawn of geological history sands were 
being deposited in Canada as they are to-day. Con- 
solidated and metamorphosed they form the quartzite 
of the Huronian. Above them lie sandstones of 
Cambrian age. Silurian, Devonian, Carboniferous, 
Triassic, Cretaceous and Miocene times contributed 
their quota of sandy sediments. So through the 
whole Dominion sandstones are abundant and cheap. 
They are used extensively for building ; also as flag- 
stones, furnace linings, grindstones and whetstones. 
As powdered stone or as the natural sand, quartz is 
also used for mortar, glass, moulding and polishing. 

Building Stone. In the Maritime Provinces there 
are considerable areas of good freestone in the Lower 
Carboniferous rocks. The stone is soft enough to be 
readily cut when first quarried, but hardens on ex- 
posure. Red, yellow, light grey and beautiful olive- 
green beds are found. The stone is not only used 
domestically but also exported. The chief quarries 
are at Dorchester, Hopewell, and neighboring locali- 
ties in Westmoreland and Albert counties, New 
Brunswick. Amherst, Wallace and Pictou in Nova 
Scotia also produce good stone, some of which is 
exported. The magnificent court-house of Toronto, 
Ontario, is constructed of New Brunswick stone. 

In Quebec a sandstone of the Potsdam or Upper 
Cambrian period affords an excellent building stone. 
It is almost white in color and very hard and durable. 


It is quarried, among other places, at St. Scholastique 
and at Hemmingford, and used in Montreal. It has 
also been used successfully at St. Maurice as a furnace 
lining. Near Quebec and Levis the Sillery sandstone 
is quarried and used quite extensively in both cities. 
It is usually a green or greyish- green rock, though 
on the coast below L'Islet there are beds of a 
purplish-red color. The rock does not weather uni- 
formly, nor is it as durable as the Potsdam stone. 
Some Silurian sandstones have been quarried in 
Gasps' for railway work. 

The Potsdam sandstone of Quebec occurs on the 
south of the Ottawa River in Ontario, and here, also, 
has been extensively used. Considerable was quar- 
ried in Nepean township for the national Parliament 
Buildings at Ottawa. Farther to the west a band of 
Medina sandstone outcrops along the Niagara es- 
carpment, which stretches from Queenston Heights 
past Hamilton to Cabot's Head. It is quarried at a 
number of places, principally along the Credit River. 
The stone occurs in both white and red beds, the 
latter being the more valuable. It is very extensively 
used in western Ontario the Parliament Buildings 
at Toronto being a good example of the appearance 
of the red variety. A similar red stone of Cambrian 
age occurs in the Nipigon formation on the north- 
west of Lake Superior. It has been shipped from 
Verte Island to Chicago and other lake cities. 

In British Columbia freestone of Cretaceous age 
may be quarried at many points along the coast. 
Some excellent material for building has been ob- 


tained near Nanaimo. A white freestone of the 
same age is quarried at Calgary, Alberta. 

Other Uses. Flagstones have been obtained at 
most of the localities just described, and at many 
others. Material suitable for grindstones has been 
quarried at Seaman's Cove and other points in Nova 
Scotia, and in Albert and Westmoreland counties, 
New Brunswick. Some grindstones and coarse whet- 
stones are made from the Medina in Nottawasaga, 
Ontario, and the Cretaceous of Nanaimo, British 
Columbia, is used for the same purpose. The total 
annual production of grindstones is valued at about 
$40,000, of which one-half is exported, chiefly from 
Nova Scotia. The imports about equal the exports. 

Sand for mortar-making should consist of sharp 
angular grains of quartz of somewhat coarse texture. 
When an impure mixture of sand and clay is used 
the mortar frequently crumbles. Good material is 
widely distributed in the superficial deposits. 

Sand for moulding is not at all plentiful. It is an 
" intimate mixture of quartz sand with just sufficient 
proportions of clay and ochre to enable it to retain 
the form given by the pattern." A good moulding 
sand contains about 92 per cent, of fine quartz 
sand, 6 per cent, of clay, and 2 per cent, of iron 
oxid. For fine castings, artificial mixtures are often 
prepared. Suitable sand is found at several places in 
Ontario and Nova Scotia. From Windsor, N.S., 
a small amount is annually exported. 

Ordinary glass is made from quartz sand, sodium 
carbonate and lime. Except for the coarser varieties 


of glass, a fine, angular white sand is needed, free 
from all impurities, especially iron. Ordinary bottles 
have a green tint due to the iron of the sand. Many 
pure sands are found in the Dominion, and several 
sandstones could be crushed and used. The Potsdam 
sandstone was at one time used at Vaudreuil. 

Sand is further used as an abrasive in sawing and 
polishing sandstone and marble. Tripolite, or 
infusorial earth, is also used as a polishing material 
under the name of " silex, electro-silicon," etc. It 
consists of the microscopic siliceous shells of diatoms 
and other minute water plants. Though each indi- 
vidual was so small, beds thirty feet thick have been 
formed extending over considerable areas. Many 
deposits are known in Canada, from which over 600 
tons valued at $10,000 were taken in 1896. Tripolite 
was at one time used as an absorbent of nitro- 
glycerine, and is now employed in the manufacture 
of water filters. 

LITERATURE. Merrill, " Stones for Building and Decoration," 
gives a full account of the properties of building stones and of 
methods of working. For details of Canadian quarries, see 
Dawson, Acadian Geology; Geol. Can., 1863; Min. Res. Ont., 
1890; Bur. Mines, Ont., 1891; Rep. R., Geol. Sur., 1887; 
Rep. S., 1894. For localities of various sands, tripolite, etc., 
see Cat. Sec. 1 of the Museum of the Geol. Sur. 



AMONG mineral materials few are more important 
than common clay, although it is so widely distributed 
that we often forget our great dependence upon it 
It ministers to our wants in numerous and in very 
diverse ways, the products often bearing no apparent 
relationship to one another. Sun-dried bricks and 
porcelain dishes are entirely different in appearance. 
Clear, transparent china bears little resemblance to 
drain-tile, and yet all four are essentially the one 
thing clay. The manufacture of rude pottery was 
one of the first arts practised in the dawn of civiliza- 
tion, and ceramics has advanced step by step with 
man's development. The value of our clay output 
to-day is only exceeded by that of our' coal. 

Origin and Composition, Clay is not an original 
mineral, but the product of decay the result of the 
passage from an unstable compound to a stable one. 
The felspars which are found abundantly in igneous 
rocks are easily attacked by water and carbonic acid. 
They are all silicates of aluminum, with potassium, 
sodium or calcium. The potassium felspar, orthoclase, 
is the most abundant. This mineral, and the others 


as well, lose their alkaline constituents together with 
some of their silica, and take up water. The alkali 
goes off in solution, and the silica and hydrous silicate 
of aluminum are left. This last, when* pure, is known 
as kaolin. Its composition is represented by H 2 A1 2 
(SiO 4 ) 2 + H 2 O, or silica 47, alumina 39, water 14 
per cent. Usually there is mixed with it some quartz 
and mica of the rock, some undecomposed felspar par- 
ticles, and some oxid of iron, calcium carbonate and 
alkalies, the accessory products of decomposition. 
Commercial clay may be the pure kaolin or any of 
the numerous mixtures possible. In some of the best 
clays kaolin is much the largest ingredient ; in others, 
considerably less than half. It is the essential con- 
stituent the other minerals are but accessories, and 
often injurious ones. Quartz, in the form of fine 
sand intimately mixed with the kaolin, is the most 
common impurity. By itself in a clay, silica is 
chemically inert but acts physically, checking shrink- 
age and cracking when the kaolin is highly heated. 
When potash, soda or lime are present the silica unites 
chemically with them at high temperatures, forming 
fusible compounds which give strength and hardness 
to the pottery. Some of these alkalies are nearly 
always present potash most commonly. Magnesia 
often replaces lime. Iron, either as an oxid, carbonate 
or sulfid, is the most undesirable impurity and is 
nearly always present. Sometimes it does not con- 
stitute more than one-fifth of 1 per cent. ; more 
frequently it makes two to ten per cent, or more of 
the clay. 


Clays resulting from the decomposition of felspars 
in place are classed as residual clays. They nearly 
all contain quartz, which is easily removed by wash- 
ing. They often exist as a crumbling rock resem- 
bling granite. The chief characteristic of this residual, 
or rock, kaolin is its non-plasticity. These residual 
clays are, of course, subject to the erosive and trans- 
porting action of water, and immense beds of sedi- 
mentary clays have been deposited in quiet waters 
since the beginning of geological history. They are 
always more or less impure and are generally highly 
plastic, a property probably due to the rubbing the 
particles have undergone. They form the chief basis 
of the world's clay industries. 

Those deposited in Paleozoic times have, for the 
most part, been consolidated into shales, and many of 
them have even been metamorphosed into slates. 
The latter have ceased to have a value in ceramics, 
but the former are very widely used, after being 
ground and allowed to weather. The Carboniferous 
period furnishes a valuable refractory clay. Creta- 
ceous, Tertiary and Quaternary clays are extensively 
used in America. In the last era ice, not water, was 
instrumental in producing deposits of clay which are 
not residual. Boulder clay, as it is called from the 
angular stones it contains, resembles sedimentary 
clay in its composition and properties, but lacks 

Uses. " The chief function of clay in the fictile 
arts is its partial fusion upon firing, and upon this 
and the skill of the artisan who fires the kiln depends 


the product, which is wonderfully varied by the 
mixtures of fluxes and tempering material. Plasticity 
is desirable for the handling of the unfired material. 
Nearly all unconsolidated or powdered rock material 
may be made to adhere by water and other ingredi- 
ents than clay, so that it can be shaped for burning, 
but plastic clay is the cheapest material used for this 
purpose in all clay-burning." (Hill, Min. Res. U.S., 
1891.) Clay is used in the manufacture of a number 
of domestic utensils, as porcelain, China and earthen 
ware. As a structural material it finds employment 
as brick, terra cotta, roofing tile, draining tile, door 
knobs and sewer pipe. In the industrial arts it is 
used as a lining for kilns, furnaces and retorts ; for 
crucibles, for moulding-material, as a base for pig- 
ments, for filling paper, and even as a food adulterant. 
Commercially clay may be divided into four classes, 
depending partly on composition and partly on use. 
Chemical composition is not the sole guide in deter- 
mining the value of a clay, for those almost identical 
in composition often yield different products on 

1. China clays are nearly pure kaolin and non- 
plastic. They are nearly always ground and washed 
before use, but should be free from iron and lirne. 
Mixed with felspar and silica they are used to make 
China ware. Cornwall, Limoges in France, and Dres- 
den in Germany have important deposits of these 
rare clays. 

2. Plastic, ball or pottery clays are the essential 
material of bricks, pottery and stone ware. The 


purer ones are China clays in composition, but will 
not yield the same products on firing. These clays 
are used in the production of earthen ware, etc., and 
to give plasticity to China clays in the manufacture 
of China ware. Deposits near St. John, Que., are 
used extensively in the production of porcelain. 

3. Brick clays include those suited not only for 
the manufacture of bricks, but also of drain tile and 
the cruder kinds of stone ware. They are most 
widely distributed of all, and, probably, are most 
important economically. Ideal brick clay consists of 
a mixture of fine sand and pure plastic clay, the pro- 
portions of which may vary very widely. A good 
clay consists of three-fifths silica, one-fifth alumina, 
and the remainder of iron, lime, soda, potash, mag- 
nesia and water. 

Iron is present in most brick clays and is the basis 
of color. Red bricks are produced from white clay 
by the oxidation of the iron from the ferrous to the 
ferric compound. Still, as is well known, the color 
may be modified by differences in the temperature of 
the kiln. White bricks are often supposed to be due 
to the lack of iron in the clay, but the correct reason 
seems to be that these clays contain lime or magnesia, 
which unites with the iron and with silica to form a 
colorless silicate. 

Vitrified bricks are being introduced into Canada 
as a paving material. They offer all the advantages 
of asphalt and are considerably cheaper. A vitrified 
brick may be described as a piece of clay heated to 
incipient fusion, so that all the particles have been 


fritted together and the pores have become closed. 
Its excellence is measured by the degree with which 
water is excluded. To be suitable for this purpose a 
clay must agglutinate or vitrify some distance below 
its point of fusion, otherwise in the firing much of 
the product will be destroyed by melting. Several 
companies are making these bricks near Toronto. 

All of these clays are widely distributed through 
the Dominion. The shales of the Hudson River 
and Medina epochs are used in Ontario to make a 
very fine pressed brick. Sewer pipe, drain tile and 
p6ttery are made at so many points that it is useless 
to enumerate. 

4. The refractory, or fire-clays, form the last divi- 
sion. Alkaline fluxes are here present in very small 
quantities. Pure kaolins are desirable as the base of 
the mixture, which is usually made artificially. The 
Cretaceous clays of New Jersey and the Carboniferous 
under-clays are often suitable. A number of fire- 
clays of fair value occur in the rocks of the latter 
period in Nova Scotia. 

The production of these materials in 1895 was 
valued, as follows : Building brick, $1,670,000; terra 
cotta, $195,100; sewer pipe, etc., $257,000; pottery, 
$151,600; fire-clay, $3,500; a total of $2,277,200. 
In the same year the imports amounted to $593,300, 
most of which was for earthen ware. 

Slate. When a bed of clay or shale is subjected to 
great pressure and heat its physical characters are 
changed. The laminae become smooth and hard, and 
microscopic crystals are often developed throughout 


the fragmental material. Minute flakes of mica are 


usually present, their flat surfaces being parallel to the 
face of the lamina. The well-developed cleavage is 
rarely parallel to the original plane of bedding, but 
is at right angles to the direction from which the 
pressure came. Under this pressure the component 
grains of the original sediment rearranged them- 
selves with their longest axes at right angles to 
the direction of force, and so made new planes of 

A number of varieties of clay slate are recognized. 
Roofing slate includes the finest-grained, compact 
kinds used for roofing houses, for mantels and table- 
tops, for slates and pencils, etc. Whet-slate or hone- 
stone is a hard, fine-grained siliceous rock. Phyllites 
embrace the thoroughly metamorphosed shales char- 
acterized by the development of much mica and the 
recrystallization of the materials. 

These slates are found in the majority of the 
geological horizons, but the Huronian, Cambrian, 
Silurian and Devonian formations contain them most 
frequently. Good roofing slates are found in Canada 
in the Cambrian rocks, east of the St. Lawrence. 
Quarries are worked at New Rockland, Shipton, and 
near Richmond, all in Richmond county, Quebec. A 
number of other quarries have been opened in neigh- 
boring counties, but the demand does not justify their 
operation. The usual color is dark or bluish-grey, 
but green, red and purple ones are found. The best 
class cleave readily, are " free from pyrites, imper- 
vious to water, and equal in every respect to the 


celebrated Welsh slates." Roofing slates, slabs and 
school slates are produced in this district. The pro- 
duct in 1895 was valued at $59,000, about one-half 
that of 1889. The imports in 1895 amounted to 
$19,000, also about half of the corresponding figures 
for 1889. A small amount is annually exported. 

LITERATURE. "Clay Materials," by Hill, in Min. Resources 
of U.S., 1891, contains a good description of the kinds and uses 
of clay. See also Geol. Can., 1863. " Brick Clays of Que.," 
Rep. Geol. Sur., IV. 188 K ; "Brick Clays of Ont,," Bur. of 
Mines Rep., 1891, 1893, 1895. The report of 1893 contains a 
chapter on vitrified brick. "Fire Clay of N.S.," Rep. Geol. 
Sur., V. 1890, 190 P; "Slate of Que." Rep. Geol. Sur., IV. 
1888 K. 


Origin and Occurrence. Limestone is one of the 
most widely distributed rocks occurring in all the 
sedimentary formations from the Cambrian down to 
recent times. It is found even in Archaean areas as 
great bands of crystalline material which are meta- 
morphosed sediments. Geographically its distribu- 
tion is as wide as it is geologically, and every 
province but Prince Edward Island has its own 
supplies. The only large areas of the Dominion 
destitute of it are some of the districts covered by 
the igneous Archaean rocks. 

It has always been deposited as a sediment, some- 
times as a chemical precipitate, much more frequently 
as a bed composed of the fragments of the shells 
and skeletons of lime-secreting animals. As is well 
known, gravel and sand derived from the land are 
deposited near the shore and the lighter mud carried 
farther out. Beyond this, where sediments from the 
land were rarely brought, the bottom of the old ocean 
beds was slowly built up by the calcareous remains 
of dead molluscs, crinoids, corals and other organisms. 
The process can be watched to-day on the coast of 


Florida, and time and the pressure of superin- 
cumbent beds are alone needed to transform the 
loose shell deposits of that peninsula into solid lime- 
stone. Consolidation and recrystallization are pro- 
moted by the easy solution and precipitation of 
calcium carbonate in waters carrying carbonic acid. 

Often these deposits were made when mud or sand 
was being laid down, so that beds of limestone and 
shale or of limestone and sandstone are now found 
to alternate with one another, and even to pass by 
gradual changes from one into the other. A pure 
limestone consists of calcium and carbonic acid, that 
is, it is the mineral calcite (CaC0 3 ). Frequently the 
calcite is replaced by dolomite, an isomorphous mix- 
ture of calcium and magnesium carbonates. Silica, 
clay, oxids of iron and bituminous matter are often 
present as impurities. The color is commonly a dull 
white to a blue-grey, but may be brown or black. 
Few rocks vary more in texture than limestone. It 
may be a hard compact rock with a choncoidal frac- 
ture; it may consist of crystalline grains resembling- 
loaf sugar in texture and color ; it may be an earthy, 
friable deposit, or a compact rock resembling a close- 
grained sandstone. In all cases it is easily scratched 
with a knife, and gives a vigorous effervescence when 
treated with hydrochloric acid. 

Uses. Limestone is probably the most valuable of 
all our structural materials, for not only is it an 
excellent building stone itself, but it also affords the 
most useful cement for holding all other building 
materials together. It is employed not only in the 


farm-house but in the city cathedral ; it is used not 
only for the outer walls but also as marble for the 
decoration of the interior. It is used for bridges and 
culverts in railway construction, and for the concrete 
foundations of city pavements. As a flux in the 
smelting of iron it finds a large employment, over 
30,000 tons being annually used in Canada alone, 
where the iron industry is not a large one. Some 
fine varieties are used as lithographic stones. Marl, 
an amorphous mixture of calcium carbonate, clay 
and sand is a valuable fertilizer. (See Chapter XVII.) 
Chalk, a soft earthy variety of limestone not found 
in Canada, is used by carpenters and others for 
marking; perfectly purified and mixed with vege- 
table coloring matters, it forms pastil colors. Whiting 
is a purified chalk used as a pigment and as a polish- 
ing material. 

The desirable qualities in a limestone to be used 
for structural purposes have already been pointed out 
(Chapter XIV.), and it is only necessary to indicate 
here some of the important localities where stone 
occurs. Limestone is so widely distributed through- 
out the Palseozoic areas of southern Ontario and 
Quebec, and of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, that 
it is useless to attempt an enumeration of the places 
where it is quarried. The lowest horizon to furnish 
valuable stone is the Chazy, which is extensively 
quarried at St. Dominique, Phillipsburg and Montreal 
Island. The Trenton limestones, occurring in the 
neighborhood of Montreal, also furnish that city with 
excellent building stone. In Ontario, the Niagara 


formation is worked at a number of places along the 
escarpment which enters the Province at Queenston 
and passes by Hamilton and Owen Sound to Mani- 
toulin Island and into Michigan. Stone from Queen- 
ston, Thorold, Beamsville and Grimsby has been 
extensively used in the Welland canal, the St. Clair 
tunnel, and railway construction throughout the Pro- 
vince. The Corniferous also gives a valuable stone 
where exposed. Quarries near Amherstburg furnished 
material for the Sault Ste. Marie canal. In Nova 
Scotia and New Brunswick Carboniferous limestone 
of excellent quality is widely spread, and is quarried 
in a number of places. 

Marble. The term marble is properly applied 
to a crystalline aggregate of calcite grains of uniform 
size, and each of which is composed of twin crystals 
with their own cleavage lines. It has been produced 
by the recrystallization of ordinary sedimentary lime- 
stone in situ, occasioned by the heat of eruptive rocks 
and the pressure of overlying masses. Typical mar- 
ble is white, but it may be yellow, green, blue, black, 
banded or mottled. Sometimes it is very fine-grained, 
as in the best statuary marbles ; again it may be so 
coarse as not to take a good polish, and so be useless 
for ornamental purposes. Mica, garnet, tremolite and 
many other species of silicates are frequently found 
in it, a result of the recrystallization of sand and clay 
impurities in the original limestone. 

Commercially, the term marble is applied to any lime- 
stone, crystalline or non- crystalline, which is suscep- 
tible of a polish, and is suited in texture and color for 


ornamental work. It is even made to include serpen- 
tine, when this magnesium silicate is found in masses 
suitable for decoration. On the contrary, impure 
marbles and those of too coarse grain to be of value 
for decorative work are classed as limestones, and 
used for structural purposes. 

True marbles are found in regions of metamorphism, 
particularly in the Laurentian areas in Canada- 
From the Georgian Bay east to the Ottawa valley are 
scores of bands of crystalline limestone interbedded, 
with gneiss and other schists. These have been 
worked to a small extent at a number of places, as at 
Madoc, Bridgewater, Renfrew and Arnprior in Ontario. 
Across the Ottawa it is found in Hull, Grenville and 
other places. A very fine marble of similar age is 
quarried at West Bay, Cape Breton. At Echo Lake, 
near the St. Mary River, Ontario, a close-grained lime- 
stone of Huronian age has been worked to some 
extent. It is composed of thin, alternate bands of 
grey and colored stone, and takes an excellent polish. 
In the metamorphic rocks of the Eastern Townships 
marble is quarried for local use at several places. At 
Dudswell a rock of Silurian age is entirely composed 
of organic remains, principally corals, which when 
polished presents a beautifully marked surface. The 
Eozoon limestone, which consists of an intimate and 
irregular mixture of white calcite and green serpen- 
tine, gives a handsome effect when polished. It is 
found in the Laurentian rocks in Grenville and 
Templeton, Que, and is supposed by some to be the 
remains of the earliest known animal. Serpentine, 


which occurs in large masses in the Eastern Town- 
ships, is used for interior decoration under the name 
of verde antique marble. At Texada Island, B.C., a 
grey, white and mottled stone is quarried and used 
for monumental and decorative work. 

With such large and varied deposits of marble it is 
strange that we depend so much on other countries 
for our supplies. For the past ten years our produc- 
tion has averaged only 300 tons, valued at less than 
$5,000, while the imports amount to over $100,000 a 

Lithographic Stone. Limestones of fine even 
grain, entirely free from crystals of calcite, are 
extensively used in the duplication of maps and 
drawings. It is almost impossible to define the 
characteristics of a good lithographic stone, for in 
both chemical composition and physical structure 
the few suitable limestones are exactly imitated by 
hundreds of useless ones. The stone of Solenhofen, 
Bavaria, which is used the world over, is an even- 
grained, compact limestone, with less than 6 per cent, 
of clay and other silicates. It is buff or drab in color 
by reason of a small amount of organic matter, which 
is, perhaps, the most valuable constituent. Suitable 
material has only been found in Bavaria, Silesia, 
England, France and Canada. In the last-named 
it occurs as a number of beds six to twelve inches 
thick in the Trenton limestone in the township of 
Marmora, Ontario. In composition and physical 
characters it closely resembles the Bavarian stone, 
which is of Jurassic age. Several quarries have 


been opened, and trial shipments have shown some 
of the stone to be of excellent quality. 

Mortar and Cement Among the mineral cements 
there are none which approach in importance those 
which consist of lime or some of its compounds. 
Ordinary mortar is made from quick-lime and sharp 
clean sand, its cementing qualities depending chiefly 
on the formation of calcium carbonate by the absorp- 
tion of carbonic acid from the atmosphere. At the 
same time calcium silicate, which forms very slowly, 
considerably strengthens the cement after a number 
of years. Both ordinary limestone and dolomite are 
converted into lime by heating in kilns until the 
carbonic acid has been expelled. The first yields 
" hot " limes, the latter " cool " limes, so called from 
the relative amounts of heat developed in slacking. 
Both form good mortars, although the magnesium 
limes slack less rapidly and set more slowly. Both 
varieties are extensively made in Canada, particu- 
larly where other limestone industries are established. 
Every province except Prince Edward Island has its 
own supplies, the total product being valued at 
$700,000 in 1895. 

Ordinary lime like that just described, which is 
made from nearly pure material, will not harden if 
immersed in water, but if made from a rock con- 
taining considerable clay it has this valuable pro- 
perty. Such a lime is properly called a cement, and 
it may be a natural or a Portland one, according as it 
is made from natural rock or an artificial mixture. 
A hydraulic limestone consists, then, of calcium or 


magnesium carbonate mixed with fifteen to thirty- 
five per cent, of clay and a little alkali. Such a 
rock on being strongly heated forms a double sili- 
cate of calcium and aluminum, a compound capable 
of uniting with water to form a hard, crystalline 
compound, even when immersed. 

Hydraulic limestones are widely distributed, and 
are converted into natural cement at a number of 
places. The rock is burned in kilns like ordinary 
lime, and then, since it does not slack at all with 
water, or very slowly, it is ground to a fine powder. 
The product often lacks uniformity, for the chemical 
composition of the beds of a quarry vary greatly. 
For this reason artificial cements are often preferred. 
The original Portland cement was made by grinding 
together a mixture of clay and chalk of definite com- 
position and then calcining and regrinding. Artificial 
cements are now made at a number of points in 
Canada, as at Napanee and near Owen Sound, Ont. 
The production of cement in 1895 was 128,000 barrels, 
most of it coming from Ontario, and nearly half of 
it being classed as Portland. The total value was 
$174,000. In the same year the imports of all kinds 
of cement amounted to $252,000. 

LITERATURE. Marble: Min. Resources of Ont., 1890; Rep. 
Geol. Sur., IV. 1888 K. Lithographic stone: Rep. Bur. of 
Mines, Ont., 1892, 1893. Cement: Bur. of Mines, Out., 1891; 
Gillmore, "Limes, Hydraulic Cements and Mortars." 



AMONG the varied resources of Canada none is of 
greater importance than her fertile soil, the direct 
support of more than half of the population. Nor is 
there need of any excuse for introducing here a short 
chapter on soils, for the connection between geology 
and agriculture is of the closest character, though it 
is unfortunately too seldom recognized. The origin 
and distribution of soils ; the cause of their fertility ; 
the source and proper use of minerals to restore the 
necessary losses incurred in cropping, are questions of 
a geological character of the first importance to the 
progressive farmer. To the student, also, the transfor- 
mation from the hard and barren rock to the loose and 
fertile soil is of exceeding interest. The uses of rocks 
in their original, living state are not to be compared 
with their value to man after old age has overtaken 
them and death and decay have reduced them to dust. 
This finely divided rock material, constituting the 
superficial portion of the earth's crust, is known as 
soil. It is composed chiefly of very variable mixtures 
of clay and sand, with considerable proportions of 
vegetable matter and iron oxid. 


Origin of Soil. As soon as a sedimentary rock 
appears above the water, or an igneous rock is 
extruded from the crust, meteoric forces begin to 
transform it. Wind and water, heat and cold, plants 
and animals, oxygen and carbonic acid, all unite to 
disintegrate and dissolve the solid rock, and even to 
transport much of it to other localities. Water, 
oxygen and carbonic acid are the chief agents 
involved in producing chemical change. The ferrous 
and the manganous compounds, so frequently con- 
stituents of igneous rocks, easily take up oxygen to 
form the more stable peroxids. Sulfids of the metals 
become soluble sulfates, and these may even lose their 
sulfuric acid and be precipitated as hydrates, as in 
the transformation of iron pyrite into limonite. Rain 
water always contains some carbonic acid, and as it 
percolates through decaying vegetable matter it soon 
becomes charged with this powerful solvent. The 
silicates of lime, soda, potash and iron, so abundant 
in the crystalline rocks, are easily attacked by this 
water, carbonates of the bases being formed and silica 
set free. The crystals of felspar lose their lustre 
and color, first becoming dull and earthy on the 
outside, and finally being converted into a soft, pul- 
verulent clay. The rapidity and completeness of the 
process vary greatly, but usually all of the alkalies 
and much of the silica are removed. Water charged 
with carbonic acid is also a good solvent of ordinary 
limestone, calcium carbonate being carried off and the 
impurities left behind. 

Solution is greatly aided by physical disintegration. 


Mosses insert their tiny rootlets and open the way 
for other agents. Larger plants, by the power of 
their growing roots, wedge off pieces of rock, and so 
promote chemical solution. The unequal expansion 
of different minerals when subjected to the heat of 
the sun has a disintegrating effect. Most powerful 
of all these influences is that exerted by freezing 
water. All rocks absorb a little moisture, and those 
that are porous or fissured are particularly susceptible 
to the destructive effects of frost. The angular blocks 
on every mountain slope attest the power of this 

Abrasion also promotes disintegration and conse- 
quently decay. Running water rolls the broken 
rocks over and over, wearing off the angles and 
gradually reducing them to sand and gravel. The 
shore ice of rivers, lakes and seas often surrounds 
large stones, and driven by the wind or current, 
abrades both them and the shore. Still more potent 
was the ice-sheet which at one time covered Canada, 
as it does Greenland to-day. This mantle of ice 
moved slowly downward from the Laurentian heights, 
carrying in it and under it great blocks of granite 
and other igneous rocks which, pressed against the 
underlying ones, were slowly ground to pieces. 
Abrasion, disintegration and chemical change have 
thus transformed the barren rocks into fertile soil. 

Classification. In accordance with their origin 
two classes of soils are recognized, sedentary soils 
and transported soils. The first class are com- 
paratively rare in North America north of the 


thirty-ninth parallel of latitude, the point to which 
the ice-sheet extended. South of this line they 
are the prevailing class, except in the river valleys. 
Soils derived from the disintegration of sandstone 
are of course very sandy, containing only the small 
amount of clay present in the original rock. Shales 
and soft slates weather to clay soils undesirably 
heavy and compact, except where the shale con- 
tained considerable sand. The disintegration of a 
limestone is usually accompanied by solution, so 
that the resulting soil is largely composed of the 
original impurities, chiefly clay and iron. Indeed, 
a calcareous shale will, on weathering to a clay, 
retain much of the lime, while a soil resulting from 
the disintegration of a limestone may be nearly 
devoid of calcareous material. Sedentary soils formed 
from granitic rocks are usually thin and poor. When 
decomposition is very rapid, the felspars and micas 
yield a clay retaining some of the alkaline and calcar- 
eous ingredients of the original rock, and this mixed 
with the abundant silica furnishes a fair soil. All of 
these sedentary soils gradually merge by coarser 
materials into the rocks on which they rest. 

Transported soils embrace those which have been 
formed through the agency of water or glacial ice, 
and which bear no relationship to the rocks beneath 
them. In Canada, those due to glacial action are by 
far the most extensive and among the most fertile. 
These soils have been spread over the country often 
to a depth of several hundred feet, obliterating fre- 
quently the old drainage systems and giving a new 


contour to the surface. They consist of clay and sand 
and gravel, derived often from very different sources 
and intimately mixed. The product of abrasion and 
not of decay, they contain all the elements of fertility 
found in the original rocks. Since their deposition 
the surface has of course been subject to the ordinary 
meteoric influences, and some of the soluble salts have 
been carried away. The subsoils, which have been 
subjected in a less degree to atmospheric agencies, are 
naturally richer in a number of ingredients necessary 
for plant growth. Proper tillage tends to restore to 
the surface what is being continually lost through the 
growth of crops and the solvent action of rain. Man 
accomplishes this by deep ploughing, and he is helped 
not a little by the action of worms and other burrow- 
ing animals. 

Besides the " drift," there is another division of 
transported soils known as alluvium. This is water- 
carried material which may have been deposited in 
the flood plain of a river, in the basin of a lake since 
drained, or in the marshy inlet of a sea at high tide. 
These alluvial soils are frequently very fertile, con- 
taining as they do much of the best material borne 
from the higher lands. The fine silt brought down by 
the Nile has transformed its desert flood plain into 
rich agricultural land. The marsh lands of Nova 
Scotia and New Brunswick, among the most fertile 
soils of the Dominion, are due to deposits of silt made 
at high tide. Fifty thousand acres have been reclaimed 
by dikes around Chignecto Bay alone. 

Soils are also classified according to composition. 


They may be clayey, sandy, peaty or calcareous as 
one or other of these constituents predominates. 

Fertility. The fertility of a soil depends on its 
chemical composition and on its physical texture. The 
useful physical characters are (1) sufficient looseness 
to afford easy penetrability to roots, to moisture, to 
air and to fertilizers ; (2) sufficient retentiveness 
to prevent a rapid loss of water and fertilizing 
material. These properties depend on the relative 
proportions of sand, clay and humus which constitute 
the soil. Too much sand makes a light soil easy of 
cultivation and readily dried, _ but not retentive of 
moisture and fertilizers. An excess of clay makes a 
heavy soil retentive of moisture and fertilizers, capable 
of giving a firm foothold to plants, but cold, imper- 
meable and difficult to till. Where humus predomin- 
ates the soil is often sour from carbonic and other 
acids, and is usually deficient in some of the elements 
of plant food. From the physical standpoint a good 
soil contains from sixty to eighty-five per cent, of 
sand, from ten to thirty of clay and iron oxid, and 
from five to ten of humus. As, however, the physical 
condition of a soil depends partly on rainfall and 
temperature, these must be considered along with com- 

From the chemical standpoint a soil should contain 
all the elements which are necessary for plant growth 
in a condition in which they are assimilable. What 
these elements are is best learned from analyses of 
the ashes of different plants, a short table of which is 
here given : 























o ^1 







S ' 






Wheat, straw .... 








Wheat grain 


98 5 

1 5 

19, 9 


f>7 3 


Barley, " .... 
















. . 





1 .3 

Beets, root 












Potatoes, tubers . . 












The constituents of soils may be divided into two 
classes inorganic and organic. The mineral matter 
due to the disintegration of rocks is composed princi- 
pally of lime, magnesia, oxid of iron, alumina, potash 
and soda combined with silica, phosphoric, carbonic 
and sulfuric acids. Of these the majority are usually 
found in sufficient abundance, the ones which are 
sometimes lacking being lime, potash and phosphoric 
acid. The organic portion of soil is known as humus, 
which consists of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitro- 
gen, only the last being of value to plant life. 

Potash, which is derived mainly from the decom- 
position of felspathic rocks like granite, exists in the 
soil chiefly as the soluble potassium silicate. It may 
constitute as much as 2 per cent., though good 
agricultural soils contain as little as .25 per cent. 
Clay soils are usually richest in potash a fact due to 
the retentiveness of clay and to the common origin of 
clay and potash. 


Phosphoric acid is found in all fertile soils, usually 
combined with lime. It seldom exceeds 1 per cent, 
even in the richest soils, and the average in good soils 
is probably about .2 per cent. 

Lime not only affords direct food for plant life, but 
it also liberates potash and nitrogen held in the soil 
in insoluble forms. A soil containing less than 1 per 
cent, of lime is considered to be deficient in that 

Nitrogen is supplied by the decaying vegetable 
matter of the soil. Only as fermentation takes place 
is it rendered assimilable. Nitrification is brought 
about by a microscopic ferment, which is assisted by 
moisture, warmth and carbonate of lime. Very rich 
soils may contain as much as 1 per cent, of nitrogen, 
though the average of good soils is .1 or .2 per cent. 

In a table on the next page the composition of a 
number of virgin soils is given. Soil No. 1, from the 
Red River valley, is particularly rich in organic 
matter, and consequently in nitrogen. In potash also 
it is much above the average, and in lime and phos- 
phoric acid it is of fair value. Calculating for the 
first foot only, it contains 33,000 pounds of available 
nitrogen, 34,000 pounds of potash, and 9,500 pounds 
of phosphoric acid to the acre. An average crop of 
wheat is said to remove 15 pounds of phosphoric acid 
and 23 of potash to the acre. No. 2 is a sedentary 
soil derived from felspathic rocks, and consequently 
rich in potash, but it is poor in other respects. No. 3, 
which is low in lime and potash, would respond 
readily to fertilizers, but would be easily leached. 




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The fourth is a good rich soil, though a little low in 
lime. Nos. 5, 6 and 7 are soils of average fertility, 
somewhat deficient in lime. 

Geological Fertilizers. Continual cropping slowly 
removes from the soil the mineral ingredients on 
which its fertility depends. True, in good farming, a 
portion of these are returned in the manure, but every 
bushel of grain and every animal that leaves the farm 
carries with it some of the original phosphoric acid 
and potash. It is of the highest importance that 
these be returned to the soil in some cheap and 
efficacious way. A number of mineral substances are 
found, which either native or after chemical treatment 
are available for this purpose. 

Apatite, the geological occurrence of which has been 
described in an earlier chapter, is an important source 
of phosphoric acid. Treated with sulfuric acid it is 
partially changed to a soluble phosphate. Commer- 
cial superphosphates are a mixture of calcium sulf ate, 
calcium phosphate and calcium acid phosphate, the 
last of which is the valuable ingredient because of its 
solubility. Phosphates are especially useful as a top 
dressing for root crops. In connection with nitro- 
genous fertilizers they are also a benefit to cereals- 
Guano and green-sand marls are other sources of 
phosphoric acid, which, however, are not found in 

Nitrogen, the essential fertilizer of the cereals, may 
be obtained from three sources. Chemical compounds, 
such as nitrate of soda and sulfate of ammonia, are 
very useful because of their solubility, but they are 


expensive. The first occurs as Chili saltpetre, the 
second is a by-product in the manufacture of coal 
gas. A second source is the nitrogen of the air, which 
can be assimilated only by leguminous plants like 
clover and pease. If these are ploughed under while 
green, a store of nitrogen is laid up for future crops. 
A third source is the semi-decomposed vegetable 
matter of muck, leaf -mould and peat. The nitrogen 
of these is converted into assimilable forms by fer- 
mentation, a process which is aided by composting the 
material with barnyard manure. These mucks and 
peats are widely distributed through the whole 
Dominion. Many analyses are given in the reports of 
the Experimental Farms, the average number of 
pounds of nitrogen to the ton being thirty-eight. 

There is unfortunately no mineral source of potash 
in Canada. The only available supply is that stored 
in our forests. Wood ashes, which contain from seven 
to twelve per cent, of potash, are the mineral constitu- 
ents which the trees by a life-long process have taken 
from the soil. As they also contain considerable 
quantities of lime, phosphoric acid and other inorganic 
plant food, they are among the most valuable of 
fertilizers. To continue to export them, as in the past, 
is suicidal. 

Lime may be supplied from several sources. Ground 
gypsum or landplaster is valuable not only as food, 
but for liberating potash and absorbing ammonia. 
The crude gypsum is widely distributed, and in the 
manufacture of superphosphates calcium sulfate is 
made as a by-product. Ordinary quick-lime, besides 


affording nourishment makes clay soils lighter and 
sweetens damp and peaty ones. Marl is another source 
of lime very widely distributed, acting like quick-lime 
but more slowly. It is essentially carbonate of calcium, 
with more or less clay. Mussel mud is much used 
on Prince Edward Island, where lime is frequently 

A number of other fertilizers not directly of 
mineral origin may be passed over. Those briefly 
enumerated here may, by judicious use, be made to 
increase the productive capacity of the soil. Questions 
of expense compared with returns received, of the 
mode and amount of application, etc., belong to 
agriculture rather than to economic geology, and 
cannot be discussed here. 

LITERATURE. Origin of Soils: Geikie, "Geology"; Shaler, 
Rep. U.S. Geol. Sur., XII. 1892. Analyses of Soils and Fertili- 
zers : Shutt, Annual Reports of Experimental Farm, Ottawa. 












Copper (fine in ore, etc. ).lbs. 
Gold .... oz 





Iron ore tons 

Lead (fine in ore, etc.).lbs. 
Mercury .... ,, 

Nickel (fine, in ore, etc. ). n 
Platinum oz 




Silver (fine, in ore, etc ) n 
Total metallic 





Arsenic (white) tons 




Asbestos . 







Grindstones . . 


Limestone for flux .... 
Lithographic stone .... 
Manganese ore 



Mineral pigments 
Baryta tons 





Mineral water . galls 

Moulding sand.. ..tons. 














Natural gas 



Petroleum brls. 





Phosphate (apatite) tons. 
Precious stones 





Pyrites . . tons. 





Salt tons. 





Soapstone ... 





Whiting brls 



Structural materials and 
clay products 
Bricks M. 




Building stone 
Cement, natural brls. 
do Portland .... " 
Flagstones sq. ft. 

j 108,142 




*1, 095,000 

Granite . tons. 








Marble tons. 






Roofing cement . . . .tons. 




Sands and gravels, ex- 
ports ii 

324 656 




Sewer pipe 



Slate tons. 





Tiles . . M. 


* 19,200 


Total non-metallic 



do metallic 



Estimated value of min- 
eral products not re- 






'Partly estimated. 




1887 $12,500,000 

1888 13,500,000 

1889 14,500,000 

1890 18,000,000 

1891 20,500,000 

1892 19,500,000 

1893 19,250,000 

1894 20,950,000 

1895 22,000,000 

1896 23,600,000* 

Total for ten years $184,300,000 

* Partly estimated. 

The following table, compiled from figures published 
in Rothwell's " Mineral Industry," shows the relative 
standing in 1895 of the countries named in the pro- 
duction of some of the important minerals. In several 
cases countries are surpassed by others not named in 
the table: 





























































Great Britain 



















Spain ... 






United States 












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